My name is Jessica Strickland but I go by Kameron. I am a sophomore this year. I was born in Selma, AL and lived there until my family moved to Robertsdale, AL in 2004. I have a twin sister, who also attends South, and a 16 year old brother. My mom is a dental hygienist and my dad and step-dad are self-employed in different trades. My mom has always pushed going to college on us. She stressed a college degree’s importance for today’s success and in her eyes, it wasn’t just any college degree; it was a Doctorate. Outside of class, I was in many community service clubs in high school, such as Interact, Omega Tau, and National Honor Society (which required many service hours per semester). Throughout high school, I knew I was going to college and I knew everything I didn’t want to do as a career; however, that was all I knew. After high school, I decided to go to South for three reasons:
1. it was close to home but far enough away to have a sense of independency,
2. it had a wide range of fields to study, and
3. it didn’t ask for an arm and a leg to attend.
Now that I am in college, I am the secretary of our campus’s Circle K club (Circle Kiwanis International). We are a community service-based club. Helping the community has been a major interest of mine for a while now. I like to feel like I am making a difference somehow in someone’s life.
After testing out business and several other courses, I was still at loss on what I wanted to do until August 2012. I was given the opportunity to work as a STAY student (Students Teaching America’s Youth) through the University’s work-study program. I was assigned to a 2nd grade classroom at John Will Elementary School. There is never a boring day and I love helping the students. After a month, I knew education was for me, just not elementary education. I am now a Secondary Education major and hoping to teach Math. I love that education makes a difference in our society and there really will never be a boring day.
My Future Classroom
A lot of my past teachers would give examples and work problems out but would not explain why or the concept behind a problem or they would explain the concept without working out the problem. I also had an influential teacher who would color code certain sections of a math problem on her SmartBoard and explain each section of it with the matching color.
I am going to be an energetic, high school math teacher. My dream is to teach Algebra to sophomores and juniors in Florida. My goal will be to help students understand how math applies to life and then to help my students understand math and it’s tricky language. I am going to use as many real-life examples as possible in our day-to-day lessons. I am going to explain concepts to my students and work out a problem to incorporate each concept.
The best way to learn math is to practice, practice, practice. My students will learn math through homework, lessons, and group work. Homework is a dreaded word for students ages 5-80+. A lot of math problems that don’t challenge the student not always the answer for homework to be efficient. I am going to give effective, challenging, yet do-able problems, problems that cover important concepts. I am going to have a weekly reward system for students who do their homework. The reward might be bonus points on the next test, a healthy snack, etc. This will give them more incentive to do the homework, because receiving a good grade is not always the best incentive. After a lesson, my students will have groups to get in and discuss the day’s lesson. Peers can sometimes help other students understand a concept or a problem just by explaining it a different way than I was able to. I am also going to offer after-school tutoring a couple of times a week during the week before each test. This will give students who don’t like to speak up during class an opportunity to have their questions answered.
I remember falling asleep multiple times in class in high school. I am going to make math engaging for students through tools, outside of the textbook, such as SMARTboards, group in-class assignments, and have a bowl with each student’s name in it and draw from it frequently to choose who answer what question. This will force class involvement. I am also going to color code each section of a problem I work out on the SMARTboard. This will help lessen confusion. Students will feel less tempted to fall asleep in my class. I am also going to incorporate technology, such as online sites like Moodle to enhance my lectures and help students.
My classroom will have several relevant posters on the walls and a bulletin board with student’s math projects on it. It will be decorated for each holiday. My classroom will have a window in it and the blinds will always be open as long as there aren’t any big distractions outside. I want to make my classroom feel warm and a comfortable learning environment for my students.
The part that stood out to me the most was, “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. I have terrible time management. I don’t plan my day or my to do list. I need to start planning because it’s okay to change your plan once you have one. This is going to be a required skill to be a successful, effective teacher.
Time Management- Penn State
"My work always takes longer than I expect it to." I started reading the webpage and this statement was almost screaming me! Everything I set out to do always, always, always takes longer than I think it will. I never have enough time. Monitoring my time by specifically listing what I have to do and how long it will take me to do it and finding/ fixing the time wasters in my day will help me fix this problem. A planner will also be useful for me to schedule out my days and remember important dates such as exams. Improving my time management skills will help me become the successful teacher I want to be.