Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me

Hello! My name is Rebecca Lathem, but I usually go by Becca. I'm 20 years old, and I'm working on a double major in Secondary Education and Mathematics! I really love blogging and playing video games with my friends. I'm also very passionate about fighting for women's rights and the rights of the LGBT community.

I was born here in Mobile, and I've lived in Theodore most of my life. For a year and a half, I moved to Hartselle, Alabama to finish up high school. During that time, I was busy trying to decide which university I wanted to attend. After a lot of thinking and researching, I finally decided I would move back to my hometown and attend the University of South Alabama! I was fortunate enough to be offered a Presidential scholarship, which I gratefully accepted.

I was raised by my loving grandparents, but I was fortunate that my mother also lived with us. Throughout my schooling, my grandparents were always very supportive of me and very involved in my education. They pushed me to strive to do my best in every subject, and for that, I am very grateful. I probably would not be where I am today if they had not have been so supportive and involved. However, not every child is fortunate enough to have such involved parents like I did, and that is one of the big reasons why I want to enter the field of education. I want to help children do their very best, even if they don't have parents or guardians that are involved in their education.

My Future Classroom

It's normal to hear children complain about school, but far too often have I heard children say they hate school. Once upon a time, I, too, disliked school, but I'm fairly sure most of us did at some point. Why is it that a lot of children dislike school? Some of them may dislike it because of the environment, which some relate to a prison. Other children may dislike it because of all the testing that is required of them. When I begin my teaching career, although I probably cannot avoid the testing issue, I hope to help children change their negative attitude about school and show them that school can and should be a fun learning environment.

When I become a high school math teacher, I plan to convey to my students that math isn't something to fear, and it can be fun when you understand it. I plan on using interactive methods of teaching to get the students more involved. For instance, I will write problems on the board and ask students to come up and solve it while explaining aloud to the rest of the class how they arrived at their answer. I think this will help students build confidence and good self-esteem. I also would like to place my students into groups to work on math problems together. Such groups will allow the students to learn how to work and connect with other people, and it will also encourage peer teaching and studying. For instance, if a student has trouble understanding a concept, another student in his or her group could help explain the concept in a way the student better understands.

In my classroom, I would like to use SMART board technology. With a SMART board, my students can play interactive math games on websites like Sheppard Software, which will improve their math skills while they have fun! I would also like to start a mathematics club in the school, if there isn't one already, that is open to all students who are interested in math or just want to improve their skills. If enough students express interest in it, I would like to form teams that can compete with each other within the school. I believe a little healthy competition will give students more opportunities to practice their skills in a fun environment.

Lastly, when I begin my teaching career, I will make sure my students know that I am always open and willing to help them improve their skills. I don't want my students to be afraid to come talk to me when they need help, and I want them to understand that they should never feel ashamed of asking for help. Everyone learns differently. Some students can understand a concept the first time it is taught to them. Others may need a little extra help, and that's okay! I think that is something that needs to be stressed by every teacher of every subject!

Randy Pausch on Time Management

From watching Randy Pausch's video on time management, I've realized that I never really focused on why something was on my to-do list. I knew that I had something I needed or wanted to do, but I never asked myself why. I have so many things on my mental to-do list, a lot of which are on there because they are required for my education. The others are there because they would provide me with entertainment or knowledge. Naturally, I focus more on the things I have to do for school because they are much more important. If I don't allocate my primary attention on those things which are essential for my success in school, well, I won't be very successful now, will I?

Another thing I've realized is that whenever I start something, whether it be homework, household chores, or a project, I always put a lot of focus into doing it right. Sometimes, being so obsessed with doing it right puts me behind in my work, and when I realize I've been putting all that work into the wrong thing, I get frustrated. So I need to learn to better determine which things are more important than others. I also need to work on planning things better. I've gotten better about it since I started college, but my planning skills still need some improvement. Randy Pausch emphasized that you don't need to worry about changing plans. You just need something to start with, like a tentative schedule. He stressed that your plans are most likely going to change, and that that's okay. You just can't make any changes to your plan if you don't have one in the first place. This is why I'm so glad we have a master checklist for each student in EDM 310. It will help me keep track of everything I need to do for this course and tell me when each assignment is due. Hopefully, using it for this course will help me gain the ability to better manage my time in the future.


  1. Hello Ms. Rebecca!! We have a few things in common. Obviously, I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 course. I, myself, was also raised in Mobile (Prichard) and raised by my grandparents. Unfortunately, my grandmother died when I was 8.

    Okay, this is where we are going to disagree. Math was not my subject and til this very day, it still is not. My favorite subject is History. I'm not really sure way, but it is. I have a theory that looking to past will answer questions to the future. I'm actually in school for Special Education with a concentration in Social Science. It's kind of weird, I know.

    Now, time management is what I have always had a problem with. I can totally agree with you about being a little OCD when it comes to homework, chores and projects. What I do right now is make a check list of all the materials that I needed and the steps that it takes to get the job done right. The thing is, I don't do it all in one day. I'll assign certain taks on certain days. It's works for me and it may help you. It's just a suggestion.

    Well, I am wishing you all the best of luck in EDM310 and hopefully we'll be blogging with each other in the future.

  2. Another math teacher. Great.

    Are you a dedicated gamer?

    Well written. Welcome to EDM310!

    1. I can't really consider myself a dedicated gamer right now, since I'm so busy working on assignments for school. But in the summer and during breaks, I typically spend my time playing video games. I just really enjoy them, and I've met a lot of wonderful friends through video games.

      Thank you! I look forward to learning a lot from this course!