Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blog Assignment #1

taken by Roanna Council
            About Me

My name is Roanna Council. I am a junior here at USA majoring in Secondary Math Ed. I’m 21 years old and have blonde hair and blue eyes. I’ve lived in Silverhill, across the bay, all my life and graduated from Robertsdale High. I attended The University of West Alabama in Livingston my freshman year to play tennis which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, my parents started going through a nasty divorce, and I moved home to support my little sister. I attended Faulkner State for a semester while things were being sorted out at home. Once the divorce was final, I moved to Mobile to be on my own yet still close by. I have an older brother, 22, and a younger sister, 17.
When I’m home I spend my time on my fiancé’s farm fishing or hunting. His grandparents were both teachers (elementary and administrative) and his parents are both high school Science teachers. His brother is a high school Math teacher, and he is also going to be a high school Science teacher. I would say that they have mostly inspired me to become a teacher. I had tutoring jobs in high school and loved helping others learn so everything just kind of fell into place. I work part time at the University in the Accounts Payable office, I am president of the Wesley Foundation (United Methodist Campus Ministry), and I am in the middle of trying to plan my wedding.

My Future Classroom

I plan on being a Math teacher hopefully in 11th and/or 12th grade. I want to be a fun teacher that students enjoy. I want to be able to build personal relationships with my students and gain their trust so that they can come to me for help with math or for life advice. I want my students to learn to love learning because learning is fun! I want to show them that math is amazing and complex and fascinating. I hope to make it easy for them by getting them interested and keeping them hooked.
 For so many students, math is the one area that they cannot excel mainly because math is all about building on prior knowledge. This is why I also do not believe in “burp-back” education. Students must learn to retain the information in order to be successful in any latter math courses that they take. Also, math is all about practice. Practice, practice, practice. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. With that being said though, I do not believe in giving students thousands of problems for homework. Most likely by doing this, the students aren’t going to do the work and they won’t be able to ask questions when they get stuck. I would rather them work together and separately in class with my help and without to work the problems.
One tool I think that my students will use, and use the most, is a good ole fashion pencil and paper. I’m not a fan of computers in the math world. Swivel laptop with writing surfaces are great, but just using a key board is not something I want to use in my classroom. I don’t want my students to write paragraph ABOUT math. I want them to write THE math, the numbers, the symbols, the language. I don’t believe that this would be best accomplished by each student having a laptop in my classroom. The next important tool that they students need is their text book. Although the new online texts with digital hints, explanations, and quizzes are useful, I think that the best way for a student to learn the material is reading the book, working the problems, and showing up for class. The third tool I think is essential for learning is the students’ classmates. They need group time, teaching other students, doing problems on the board, etc. Something that I have learned from the process of becoming a teacher is that you don’t really KNOW the material unless you can teach the material back. I will definitely give my students the opportunity to teach one another and learn from mistakes.
The best word that I can think of that describes the way I hope for my future classroom to be is productive. Yes, I want it to be fun. Yes, I want my students to like me. And, yes, I want to make it easy for them to learn, but the thing I want most is for my students to actually know the material I the end. I want my class to be productive both in math and in life lessons. I hope by the end of my class, my students will know how to be mature, responsible, studious, and know that grades are earned, not given!

Time Management

The video was very short but made many key points that I think are helpful. Number one would be to tackle your procrastination problem first. I don’t typically struggle with procrastination, but what I do struggle with is fitting time into my schedule to relax after all the go go go. I go to school full time, work part time, run an organization on campus, am trying to plan a wedding, and homework/sleep fit into that equation somewhere so I don’t typically have time to relax and recoup or have some fun. This causes me to get run down and stressed easily. Dr. Pausch mentioned that some way to help manage all the craziness are to make a to-do list and start with the thing that you don’t want to do first.
Something else that he touched on was comparing time to money. It’s easy to be at work because I know that each and every hour I’m there, I’m getting paid for it. And when I’m going to classes, it’s easy to remember that I better go because I paid to be there. Things like homework, rest, fun, building friendships with fellow students and teacher, though, are hard to compare with time. He says that we should view our time as a commodity that we are trading for things like we would money. He also points out the importance of setting goals both short and long term. Even if the goals have to be changed or switched around, it is still best to have them planned out so that you know where you’re headed.


  1. Practice, practice, practice! That applies to everything, not just math!

    You left a very good C4C comment for Amanda! Thanks.

    Well written. Welcome to EDM310!

  2. Secondary Education-Math is also my major! I am a junior also! Your ideas when you become a teacher are great. Sounds to me like you will make a wonderful high school teacher. I also want to teach high school.

    Group work is a really good skill to use when teaching math. I understand the material a lot better if I am able to teach it to someone else.

    Hope you enjoy this semester! :)