Grad Spotlight: Ariana M. De La Torre

Name: Ariana M. De La Torre
Age: 23 

Course of Study (degree being earned): B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (early childhood – Grade 6 ESL core subjects certification) 

Hometown: Eagle Pass, TX

My name is Ariana De La Torre. I am 23 years old and am from a small border town called Eagle Pass. I decided to become a teacher to be able to create a safe and loving environment for my students. Sadly, growing up I did not have great teachers and that started a new spark in me and inspired me to become that one good teacher that cares for my students. My special quality is that I am a student-based teacher, and my focus is that my students are growing emotionally as well. I chose UTSA because it looked like the perfect school for me; it looked like home. 

What was your favorite class and/or who was your favorite professor? Why?

My absolute favorite professor was Dr. Thomas Porter. Teaching was made for him. He has the greatest heart and just understood his students. He treated us like his children. 

What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned over the course of your studies?

Students always come first in my classroom. 

Describe any professional experiences or internship opportunities you have had.

I recently completed my yearlong student teaching and what I learned was that students care more about you as a person than your assignments. My students taught me a new love that I thought was already filled;  they taught me how to be a better teacher. 

What is your fondest memory of your time at UTSA?

My fondest memory was studying late at UTSA and being able to see how beautiful campus was at night. 

How has COVID impacted you, either personally or professionally?

COVID impacted me professionally because it changed teaching completely. After COVID the classrooms became empty. We are now slowly getting back to normal, but it will never be the same. 

What are your plans for the future and/or your career?

My plans are to go back home and teach in my hometown. 

What has brought you inspiration during this time? E.g., music, books, people, etc.

My family and students have inspired me to continue working hard and earning my degree. 

You’ve been given the opportunity to have coffee with any notable figure from your field, alive or dead. Who is it, and what does each of you order?

I would like to have coffee with Dr. Porter, just to tell him the impact he made on my life. I would order an iced mocha coffee with cream foam. I think he would order a hot coffee with vanilla and cinnamon flavors with 2 sugars.