Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog Assignment #1

About Me...
Hi! My name is Jamie Lynn Barbour I am 31 years old and I am a new mom. My daughter Raylnn Elizabeth was born on November 5th 2012. She is my heart and soul and I honestly could not imagine my life without her. Everyone says you never know real love until you have a child and that is so true. I have lived in Mobile, Alabama almost all of my life except for the four years when I lived in Birmingham and worked for WTTO and WABM television stations. I worked for The Pirates of the Caribbean II & III, while the Black Pearl was being built at my uncle's shipyard in Bayou La Batre, AL. It was one of the most exciting times of my life. The other love of my life is my three pound Yorkie named Dixie. I bring her every where I go even to work. I am a die hard Yankees fan, I love the Alabama Crimson Tide and I get my kicks watching professional wrestling. When I am not going to school or working full time for my dad, I mostly enjoy just spending time with my baby girl, family and friends.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from USA and I just recently received a Master of Science in Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi, and am working towards my second degree in Elementary Education because I decided I wanted to teach kindergarten. Why kindergarten? I used to teach dance to three, four, and five year old's and I enjoyed it so much. I loved my little girls. I know teaching school is totally different but I think you have to have your heart in anything you do and my heart is in teaching little kids.

My Classroom
This is my first education course so I have a lot to learn about teaching methods and what tools I will implement for learning in my classroom. I really want to teach kindergarten because I love young children and they are the most eager to learn at this age. I imagine that my classroom will be really colorful because I know bright colors get children's attention most. I plan on being a very creative and active teacher and using a lot of tools from my theater background to keep children engaged in a high paced learning environment.

One teaching method I plan to use is Cooperative Learning. This will teach children how to create and share ideas with their classmates in a group. I believe it is important for children to learn this technique early because group learning will be an activity used throughout their education. I also plan on using the Hands-On approach because children learn more when they are physically active in the learning process. Like using actual props when teaching math so they physically see me add or take away an item when learning how to add or subtract.

I also hope to have a learning environment that is high in technology. I like the idea of having a class blog for my children to post the things they are learning in school so that they can communicate with other students their age across the country and also be able to see what other kids their age are learning. I also think that technology is an extremely important tool in educating our children. Computers, cameras, smart phones, and tablets promote interactive learning which is a great hands-on tool for the classroom.

I will use anything I can to keep the learning environment in my classroom fun and exciting so that these feelings are always associated with learning. I want to keep their minds engaged with physical activities because children have a short attention span and they actually learn more when they do not think they are learning. I have a lot to learn about all the tools out there for teachers so I hope to have a better idea of them after this class.
Randy Pausch on Time Management
In Mr. Pausch's lecture on Time Management he discusses how to set goals, how to avoid wasting time, and how to avoid procrastination. Pausch says when setting goals it is better to focus on doing the "right thing adequately" versus just doing something right. Ask yourself why this goal is on the list and what will happen if this goal is not completed. He states that good judgement comes with experience and experience comes from bad judgement. If something is not going as planned or you are having a really hard time with it now, it means that you are learning while you are doing it and it will go much better in the long run. That is why we pay so much for people who have experience because experience can not be faked, it is something that is learned. Planning is also really important in time management. Make to-do lists and break things down into to small steps to accomplish them. You can always change your plan but first you have to have a plan to change.

I googled Mr. Pausch to learn more about him and I was very sad to learn that he passed away of pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. In his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" he asked top academics, "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" This lecture was Pausch's lasting legacy to his three children. It became a viral sensation with over six million views and became a New York Times best-seller. I watched a clip of this last lecture on the Oprah show. Pausch summed it up by saying, "if you live your life properly, the dreams will come to you."