Inspire—to fill someone with the urge to do or feel something, especially something creative. Everyone has that one person in their life who embodies this definition for them. Personally Mrs. Rodela, an art teacher at Selma High, has been this person to me. She is a woman who is empowering, creative, and influential.
It’s my second year being one of her students, and since the beginning, she has been one of my favorite teachers. I always enjoy walking into second period and hearing a cheerful “good morning” from her. Everyday she comes to class ready to help her students with their work and is always willing to give feedback and advice on not only her student’s art, but also in life. I’ve noticed that she loves engaging with her students on a personal level.
I joined Art 1 my freshman year because I have always had an interest in arts and crafts. For as far back as I can remember, I was constantly making little crafts and inventions for my stuffed animals or for my family and friends. This grew into me spending more time exploring other types of art like sketching and painting, however my knowledge of art had always been on a surface level. Mrs. Rodela’s class has definitely opened my eyes to how much more there is to art other than the images and works we create.
Mrs. Rodela encourages me to get out of my comfort zone and to take a risk. She knows that there is talent in all of her students and draws it out of us by asking questions about the meaning behind our artwork. I love that she emphasizes the meaning presented through our pieces because art is meant to vocalize a message from the artist.
Mrs. Rodela loves to spread kindness, which is something I appreciate very much. I think our culture as teenagers needs to take a step back from the social media and the obsession over appearances and take time to spread kindness. Whether that may be as simple as complimenting someone or passing on close pins with encouraging words on them, which is exactly what Mrs. Rodela had her students do.
She had the idea to have each of her students decorate close pins with color and encouraging quotes or words on them, then give it to someone who then passes it to another. Within a few periods, I saw about three out of four people with a close pin, and by the end of the day, everybody was talking about what their pin said or who gave it to them. Little did they know that all of the happiness originated from a single person with the desire to spread kindness.
Mrs. Rodela isn’t only an inspirational art teacher, she is also a role model as a woman. She is a wife and mother of two and in addition to all of the responsibilities and time investment that comes with having a family, she makes a point to attend her student’s extracurricular events. Earlier this year, Mrs. Rodela went to one of my dance performances and having her support made me feel appreciated and that she was taking an interest in something I have invested my time and effort into.
Mrs. Rodela is a woman in my life who I look up to because she inspires me to think outside the box and use my talents to the best of my abilities.