Creativity ignites confidence and perseverance, which Hidalgo ISD’s Ida Diaz Jr. High educator Sandra San Miguel strives to instill in her students.
San Miguel incorporated art into her Spanish class with the intention of inviting relaxation during a tense time frame. “We have a 3-week window of hectic schedule with Benchmark and TELPAS testing, I just wanted to find something slower pace and relaxing for my students,” explained San Miguel. Through this project, San Miguel hoped to encourage her students to embrace the appreciation of art by discovering creativity, confidence, and perseverance.
At first, many students like 8th grader Kevin Ramirez were very hesitant and reluctant. “There’s no way I can participate in this project, I’m not patient and I don’t like to draw!” stated Ramirez. Step by step, San Miguel worked with the students teaching them the proper drawing guidelines to achieve their goal.
Students were given the opportunity to choose their painting and bring it to life in their own unique way. “I chose a singer/rapper because his music is unique, and I knew I would enjoy drawing it,” said 8th grader, Kaylee Gutierrez. “I don’t draw, but I still ended up doing it and I was proud of myself.” The students gained a sense of pride and accomplishment after seeing their artwork completed.
San Miguel’s project became more than just teaching and mastering a difficult skill. “In my class, I like to teach my students more than just accents, verbs and diphthongs,” assured San Miguel. “I incorporate a lot of morals and values by holding my students accountable with being punctual, responsible and always doing the best they can.”
After 23 years of teaching, San Miguel continues to teach her students about developing good habits and attitudes while discovering new possibilities. “My drawing helped me gain confidence because I did not know I could draw,” said 8th grader, Mia Mitchell. “You never know the capability you have, until you try it.”
In the end, the students were eager to take their drawings home and show them to their families. Some teachers even considered buying the students’ artwork. “I did not believe in myself at first, but after so many compliments, and even a teacher wanting to buy my artwork, it gave me so much confidence,” Ramirez said.
Skills developed through participation in the arts are increasingly important and therefore key to a successful future. Educators like San Miguel are educating the future of tomorrow and working endlessly, day in and day out for the students to become productive citizens. “I like to promote respect, creativity, trust, teamwork, and perseverance because it’s important to reassure the students of their full potential while gaining new life-skills,” San Miguel said.Diaz Jr. High principal, Dr. Christian Trevino donated picture frames for the drawings and placed the students’ beautiful artwork by the entrance of the school to showcase their hard work, creativity, and confidence. “I am beyond proud of my students!” stated San Miguel.