Student Teaching Travel Grants Offer Opportunities to Serve More Diverse School Districts

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Alex Castello and Luis Castello rehearse of Sangre de un Àngel by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, directed by Oscar Franco at Edinburg North High School. Photo by Oscar Franco.The College of Fine Arts created the Fine Arts Student Teaching Travel Grants (FASTT) in 2010 to enable students in arts education and studies to complete their student teaching outside Austin in Title 1 low-income schools in diverse settings to explore culturally responsive arts education. Theatre Studies student Oscar Franco received a FASTT grant in 2014 to teach at Edinburgh North High School. “I loved that I was able to use my native Spanish in class. As a theatre major, I had the opportunity to work on material that was culturally relevant to the community.” There were three 2015 FASTT grant recipients. For Ashley Miller, her grant meant that she could teach in the Dallas area where she wanted to start her career. “I am student teaching at Rasor Elementary in Plano,” said Miller. Sarah Henkel wanted to network outside of Austin. “It will be easier to find a teaching job in Houston after student teaching here,” she said. Abbi Hearne started her teaching at Houston’s Fiest Elementary School. “I see about 300 students a day with an average 50-60 kids per class,” she said. “The numbers are overwhelming, but I have made personal connections with many of the students, and I am beginning to understand the dynamics of each class or grade.”