Name: Paris Bustillos
Subjects Taught: CAP Photography
Education History: Virginia Commonwealth University
Previous Jobs: Photography teacher at Wheaton High School, Video Editor for Fine Productions, currently teaches at night at Corcoran College of Arts and Design
Came to Blair in: 2004
Hobbies: working with video, helping students
Seated in a swivel chair in one of the few offices behind the TV studio, photography teacher Paris Bustillos, the newest addition to Blair's Fine Arts Department and Communication Arts Program (CAP), reflects on his days in grade school.
When Bustillos came to the United States from Spain at 10 years old, he remembers being "very confused" because he had trouble transitioning into a new education system. He was used to schools being much smaller, more caring towards each individual, more "bound to the program you were learning" and "less bureaucratic."
Bustillos comments that "it was very difficult to adapt" to the American way of learning. "I don't think I really adapted to American schools until college [where] I understood what it was to learn and be a student," he says.
Bustillos believes that school is a lot more professional than it was when he was growing up due to the fact that there seems to be "much more awareness of what the student is doing," whereas before he believes there was little care for the student.
Although he knew he always wanted to be a teacher, Bustillos' inspiration during school came from his charismatic fifth-grade teacher who he remembers as having a sense of humor. Bustillos recalls that his teacher was overweight and used to drink a lot of Coke during class to "elevate his metabolism." His teacher even did a few push ups while in the middle of teaching, much to Bustillos' delight.
Bustillos describes teaching as being "a very human job" because he is able to "deal with people as human beings and not necessarily as just another number."
He now enjoys the verbal interactions he has with his students. "Students teach me a lot, give me a lot of ideas," he explains.
Although he enjoys the benefits of being an instructor, Bustillos comes across several challenges while teaching. For instance, the teacher sometimes finds it difficult to convey his messages across to his students, as he realizes that "what's clear to me isn't always clear to others."
Despite these obstacles, the teacher acknowledges the advantages that come with these challenges, as he admits that dealing with them "keeps you sharp" since "your feet have to be on the ground, rooted on this planet."
Bustillos also feels a sense of fulfillment as a result of teaching. "I just feel rewarded whenever I can share any kind of knowledge, share the experiences and techniques that I use to get through life," he confesses. One such philosophy he passes on with his students is to avoid conflicts whenever possible.
In his spare time, Bustillos listens to music by "old, sad, female vocalists" and involves himself with projects mainly dealing with video work. He also dedicates his time towards writing scripts and helping students.
While at Blair, Bustillos hopes to add to the diversity of BNC, and has proposed to have a TV production class in Spanish.
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