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Life and Work with Aja De La Rosa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aja De La Rosa.

Aja, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I always loved art. In high school, I excelled in all my art classes. It’s where I felt most at home. I went to CSULB and that is where I realized that I would love to be a high school art teacher one day.

I majored in Art Education. I received my credential to teach Art in secondary schools in 2006.

Has it been a smooth road?
To be a good art teacher, you need to be comfortable in all areas. I took so many classes and tried every medium in art possible. I loved college art classes because they involve long hours and you can get a lot of practice. I was not always a natural in my classes. I took a wheel throwing class and I remember crying from frustration and my hands were bleeding from the grit in the clay. My professor taped up my hands with duct tape and said to keep at it. It took two weeks, but I finally was able to throw a cylinder and it was the best feeling.

My very first year of teaching was rough but as the years passed I grew as a teacher and found the confidence I needed. My passion for art and helping students was always there so that mixed with my confidence – I was on fire in the classroom!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your business – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as and what sets you apart from others.
I teach beginning and advanced art at a high school in the South Bay. I am meant for this job. I love to help people and I can talk about art all day long so this is the perfect profession for me. I specialize in drawing and painting but teach my students an array of techniques and media.

I asked my students what they think I am known for here on campus and I am humbled by their answers! They said I am committed to my students in a way that stands out. I really go out of my way to connect and encourage my students every day. Teenagers get a bad rap, but they are wonderful!! Whenever I am having trouble with a student, I go out of my way to get to know them better and modify the project to spark their particular interests.

I create a curriculum that connects to this age group. I assign projects that excite my students and if I ever notice that they are not working in class, I scrap the project the next year. Because trust me, if your class is not working efficiently, you need to look at yourself as a teacher and change your approach.

I want my students to feel safe in my classroom. I treat my kids kindly and with respect and expect the same from them. I pride myself on being a teacher that they can come to for anything, art related or not. I want my class to be the one they look forward to and love. I want them to always have fun working in my class.

Who have you been inspired by?
I’ll never forget a teacher in college who was beaming with passion when talking about art history. She was so inspiring! She used to dress up in something inspired by the artist she was teaching. I do that too. When I teach Andy Warhol, I wear my banana vans. The kids notice that and love it.

I am inspired by my mom and dad. They are both very creative – my mom does everything from sewing to ceramics and loves cute things like me and my dad is creative in his own way – he actually built an airplane in our garage back in the ’90s that he flew for years!

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 3105298107
  • Email: delarosa.aja@tusd.org
  • Instagram: My classroom instagram : @torrancehighart and personal (private) acct: ajadelarosa

Image Credit:
Kristin Anderson Studios

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