A bit about me...

I'm a full-time student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I'm majoring in Elementary Education and am planning to graduate in December of 2010. After graduating with my bachelor's degree I plan on attending graduate school at the University of South Alabama also. At the moment my plan for graduate school is to obtain my master's degree in Gifted Education. I also plan on beginning my teaching career after graduating with my bachelor's degree. I would love to get a job teaching in Baldwin County, Alabama and work on my master's at the same time at the Baldwin County campus of the University of South Alabama.

Why I've Chosen to be a Teacher

Not to sound biased, but I think teaching is one of the most important professions out there. Teachers shape the way of the future in more ways than one. Every student that comes into our classroom is someone that will be out in the world one day with their very own profession and goals. It is our job to provide these future leaders with an education that can get them wherever they want to go. Yet, while some may believe that teaching is an easy profession I strongly disagree. Just because we aim to have children in our class that are excited to learn, this will not always be the case. It is our job to get those that aren't excited to be excited. We need to be creative and innovative and do whatever it takes to make sure that our students are a success in school and have the potential to be a success when they enter their career. Teachers should never underestimate their influence on their students, and I belive by entering the profession you should be willing to give it your best to help your students succeed. I plan on doing these things and that is why I have chosen to be a teacher. I believe in my students and in return I want to help them to learn to believe in themselves.

Advocating for my Students

As teachers, our job is to educate and to do that in the best way that we can. In order to truly educate our students in the best way possible we must advocate for them. We must be certain that they are receiving the best and most equal education oppotunity possible. This applies to many different things such as making sure they have the necessities they need to succeed in school and making sure the curriculum is something that they can really understand. In many instances certain children are not treated as fairly as other children within a large realm of school, and we must advocate for them and try to improve this treatment. We are not just aiming for our students to get good grades as teachers, we are aiming for them to succeed in all areas of school and to be able to have a bright and positive future.

Being a "Life-long Learner"

I feel that being a life-long learner is so very important in all professions, but especially in the teaching profession. Being a life-long learner means that you never give up the oppotunity to learn something new. Whether you are learning from your students or your colleauges, everyone can teach you something valuable and it is important to be open to that possibility. Teaching is an ever-chaning profession, new things arise all the time. If you become a stagnant teacher and never take the opportunity to change your ways or methods of teaching then you have stopped being a life-long learner. Learning is an oppotunity to challenge and better yourself. As teachers, it is important to model that process so that our students feel the same about learning. My goal is to keep learning throughout my career and after and I feel that's something many teachers should strive to do as well.

Teaching Strategies for the Classroom

There are many different strategies that can be implemented into a classroom to make it successful. One strategy I plan on having in my classroom is an open communication line between myself and my students and their parents. Communication is key, I believe, to being successful and to stay on top of things in education. Students and their parents appreciate understanding what is going on in the classroom at all times and I plan on having them aware of our classroom activities. Also, another strategy I'd like to implement is what is called project-based learning. Now, I will be teaching elementary schools and doing many projects could be difficult at that age, but I would like to start my students off learning with that style. Projects always get the students more involved, whether it be individual or group work. They really enjoy it if it makes the subject we are learning about more interesting and it is a creative project. My goal is to get my students interested and excited about learning and I think projects would be a good way to do so. Like I've said in other posts, education is an ever-changing thing so teachers have to be prepared to change their strategies from time to time. I hope to be a teacher that is open to change, and from that I know my ideas about what happens in the classroom will change too.

Making Connections Around the Globe

It is so important to have different perspectives in your classroom and incorporate the ideas of others. One way to ensure this is to make connections not only in your own school, but in schools around the globe. Whether you may be contacting another teacher or an entire class, it is always interesting to see what others around the world are accomplishing in education. Education is an ongoing process and there are always new ways to improve what I am doing in the classroom. By getting ideas from others that aren't in my particular area I may incorporate methods and activities in my class that my students may have never seen otherwise. Also, getting other educators' perspectives can help you improve upon your own methods as well. It's possible to have something great going in your classroom, but there might be something that could take just a little tweaking and you might have something fantastic going on in your classroom. Making connections around the world can help your classroom become diverse and interesting in many different ways.

Using Techonological Tools in the Classroom

Technology has proven to be the way of the future and I believe it will remain so for many years to come. So, going with the trend I plan on incorporating a wide variety of technological tools in my classroom. Children are learning to use computers and all sorts of technology at a younger and younger age and using technology always interests them. My idea is that if you are using something your students will enjoy working with then they will learn even more information. Technology in the classroom now ranges from blogs, to smart boards, to podcasts, and so much more. As I will be teaching in an elementary classroom, it may not be possible to use all of the technology I am familiar with with my students because of their age. I do plan on using blogs as a major tool in my classroom. Although I may be the only one updating it, it can be considered a constant newsletter of my classroom going for my students and their parents. I really hope to have a smart board in my classroom also. I've observed in classrooms that are putting the smart boards to use and the students love them. They allow the students to interact and work first-hand with the lesson being taught in the class. I plan on using technology in my classroom as much as possible. Whether it be powerpoints, computer programs, or video podcasts obtained on-line I want to incoporate it all and get my students involved and enjoying their learning experience.