My name is Mary Cortopassi and I am a full time student here at the University of South Alabama. I am from Mobile, and I have lived here my entire life. The University of South Alabama was the best choice for me to remain close to my friends and family. I recently got married in July to my wonderful husband and I have since changed my name to Mary Lambert. To avoid complications I have decided to wait until the Fall 2013 semester to change my name at the university. We got married before he had to leave for deployment to Afghanistan, but we have an amazing relationship and are able to talk twice a day on Skype. While my husband is overseas in the Army I try to remain busy with school, work, and my amazing dog whose name is Foster. I have a great passion for running. I am happy running in hot weather, cold weather, long distances, or even short distances with my dog. Running is such a tremendous stress reliever for me, and a great way to stay healthy.
I am an elementary education major although that has not always been my chosen career path. My first three semesters I was a Geology major and I absolutely loved it. I was not extremely fond of the math classes that accompanied Geology, and I decided to follow my childhood dream to become a teacher. I changed my major this Fall and my experience in the Education department has been amazing. I loved my teachers in elementary school and they had such an influence in my future. I hope to influence my students in a positive way, and keep them excited about learning.
My Future Classroom
In my future classroom I hope to incorporate art and hands-on learning. I hope to teach kindergarten or first grade because I believe those were my most influential years of school. If students have a lack of interest for learning at a young age it will be very difficult to get them excited and intrigued at an older age. I want my students to value school, but to also learn life skills from our lessons.
I feel that students will actually learn if they are able to relate the subject matter to something they enjoy or some kind of activity. If students enjoy learning they will want to continue to learn and retain knowledge and skill versus memorizing and passing. When I was in high school I had very few teachers that actually taught me skills to use for college and life itself. I hope to be that influential in my elementary students.
I would like to use the smart board as a learning tool in my classroom. Students are able to play games to help them understand a subject and I am able to be more hands on with the lesson. It would also allow us to connect to another classroom somewhere around the world which would be a great cultural experience for everyone in the classroom.
I want my classroom to be decorated with my students work and also let that be a constant reminder of what they learned. I remember my chemistry class in high school we made a model of an atom from styrofoam and they were hanging in the classroom. I saw that project every day, and I could tell you all about my hydrogen atom even now almost seven years later. I want my students to actually learn and I feel reminding them of their hard work is a great way to do that.
Randy Pausch on Time Management
I have never heard of Randy Pausch until now. I felt that his video was very helpful. There were a few things that really stuck with me. I liked his analysis of eating the frogs, and how you should start with the big one. Sometimes I put stuff to the side and tell my self "I will get to it later" because it may seem scary at first. The only thing procrastination leads to for me is a world of stress.
I actually use a planner for school, and I have started recently to incorporate my everyday activities into my planner as well. After watching his video I will be sure to prioritize my plans more efficiently. It is also comforting to hear that I am learning from my bad judgement. My planner will be more organized and more meaningful now.