Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me

Hi friends! My name is Katelyn Fleming. I was born and raised here in Mobile, Alabama. I attended Cottage Hill Christian Academy for 18 years, and am currently a sophomore at South Alabama pursuing an Elementary Education degree. I am a God loving Christian, raised in a good ol’ large southern family. I only have one sister; however I have many aunts and cousins which I am just as close to, if not closer. I am attending South Alabama mainly because of the location. I couldn’t stand to live far away from my family and miss out on our many parties (my family looks for reasons to have a party, from birthdays to surgeries to “We haven’t seen y’all in about a week!”). I love children and always have enjoyed working with them, which is why I am studying to become a teacher.

I like reading (always looking for new authors, series, or books), watching movies (mostly Disney classics), spending time with my best friend, Annie Hii, crafting (I LOVE crafts!!!) and sleeping (I love my naps). I also have a passion for being behind a camera. Ever since I was little I have loved playing around with a camera. For my sixteenth birthday my family gave me a Nikon D60 and I’ve been attached to it ever since. I especially love to take pictures of my many little cousins. In my opinion, children are the best to photograph because no matter how many poses or smiles we try to force on them, their true feelings will always show instead; therefore, a great picture will always be genuine. I am presently trying to learn to play the ukulele. I have never been musically inclined, but when I found a cheap ukulele online, I just had to get it, but I am finding that my lack of music skills is difficult to overcome. I also enjoy singing (I sound terrible, but I love it nonetheless).

This past summer I worked as a counselor at Dauphin Way Baptist Church’s summer camp program. I loved it so much I continued working throughout the past semester as a floater in their daycare department. I absolutely loved working with the children and getting to watch them grow and learn. I unfortunately had to quit because school was getting put on the back burner a little bit. I walked away from that job with new wisdom and many lessons learned. Aside from the experience, this job reassured me of my career path. I now know without any doubt that teaching is my calling and where God wants me to be.

My Future Classroom

I hope my classroom will be a little different than most students I graduate with, simply because I plan to teach the deaf. When I was younger and finally old enough to attend “Big Church,” I would rarely hear what the pastor was even saying. Instead I would be focused on the interpreter for the deaf section. I would watch that lady the whole time, trying to pick up on words that I could use every day. As I’ve grown, that hasn’t left me. One of my friends actually minored in ASL (American Sign Language) and has been teaching me a little. Since South Alabama doesn’t offer a minor in ASL, I plan to take all of the courses available to me, and work after graduation toward a Master’s degree in deaf education. However, this is something I am still thinking and praying about. I am not positive this is the road I will take, but for now it is a wonderful plan.

Other than ASL, I have a passion (a strange passion, some may say) for math. I have been fairly good at math throughout my many years of schooling. I can still remember the day we learned short division in third grade. My teacher held a competition of who could solve the division problem on the board the fastest. I was among the five to compete against my teacher! Of course she won, because we were all using long division. Amazed, we all took our seats and Mrs. Martin continued to describe how to use short division. I have many moments like that which I remember quite vividly of different techniques my own teachers used to teach us new ideas. I plan to take those memories and inspirations to use in my own classroom. Since I can remember the enjoyment I got out of learning short division through a competition, I plan to use that one day to teach my students.

I want my classroom to be a fun and happy place. I have had a teacher stand on her desk and sing and dance for us. I hope one day I can be as crazy and fun and surprising as she was. I hope that my students will enjoy learning as much as I did. I have been told, and experienced that if the teacher enjoys the subject matter, the kids will too. There are areas (like history and science) which I have hated all my learning days. These are the areas I feel I need to work on personally to figure out how to enjoy myself so that the children will not end up struggling through like I did. Because I am such a “crafty” person, I feel there will be a lot of arts and craft time in my class. English is also important to me because I am a stickler for good grammar. And as I said before I am a math person. I would like to teach 3rd or 4th grades mainly because this is when they get into what I consider “fun math.”

I think I am still stuck in my childhood days of playing school at home. I love a good old-fashioned chalkboard. However, technology is taking over. Don’t get me wrong, I like technology and enjoy playing with the SMART board in my cousin’s classroom. With the way technology changes so fast, I can’t positively say what my classroom will be like or how I will cope without colored chalk. What I do know is that I plan to put everything I have into being the best possible teacher I can be with whatever tools I am given. I want to inspire my students like so many of my teachers did for me.

Randy Pausch and Time Management

Randy Pausch talked about many interesting things in this video. I actually had to watch this clip twice before all of the information fully sunk in. The first thing he talks about is asking “Why am I doing this?” No one ever stops to think, why is this so important that it made its way onto my ‘to do list’? His next question goes hand in hand with this one “Why will I succeed?” This part is somewhat skipped over, but it’s an interesting thought. Not only why do it, but why do you need to do a good job? It’s something that I think everyone needs to figure out, even in the simplest of tasks. Pausch goes on to say it is much more important to do the right things, “It doesn’t matter how well you polish the underside of the banister.” You need to focus on the important things, instead of doing a fabulous job on something that doesn’t even matter. He says it is important to plan each day, each week and each semester. Personally, I am a lists fanatic! I make lists for everything; I wouldn’t be able to function without some sort of checklist for everything that I have to accomplish in the day! I even have a list for going to bed and what I need to do every night. But I never plan out a semester in advance. I have my calendars and syllabuses from my classes but I don’t look at them until the week before usually. This was an interesting concept that I am going to try to work on starting now. Another thing he pointed out was tackling the big tasks first. This is a common sense thought, but rarely put it action. It’s more comfortable to forget this and start off easy, accomplishing the small things. This is another area in which I plan to work on my personal habits.

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” I laughed, cried and have tried to put his teachings into practice. I enjoyed it so much and learned so much from this one video. In fact, I watched the lecture again after watching this time management clip. When I first saw it, the idea of “enabling others childhood dreams” really stuck with me and helped along my decision of becoming an elementary teacher. I had planned on buying the book about his Last Lecture, however a few weeks went by and it was out of sight, out of mind. So, thank you, Dr. Strange, for reminding me about Randy Pausch and his book which I have purchased and awaiting its arrival.

Penn State’s Time Management Page

Many of the suggestions made in this article I was happy to find were things I was already doing. In the beginning of this week, I had already made a weekly schedule for myself and have been sticking to it. Some of the topics covered were things I hadn’t thought about and things I plan to include in my future study sessions; for example, keeping an extra notepad next to you while studying to jot down random thoughts in order to focus on the subject at hand. Another area which I am personally working hard on, is saying no. I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to join them for lunch, help them or just hang out. If I am going to cut my procrastination habit and manage my time better, however, I am going to have to learn to say no. This page made a number of very helpful suggestions which I needed and will learn to implement into my personal life.


  1. A reader. I think you may be an endangered species!

    You will watch the Last lecture once again this semester. I watch it at least twice a year. And cry every time!

    Well written. Welcome to EDM310!

  2. Thank you. I am very sad to say I think we are, in fact, a dying breed. However, my 7 year old cousin gives me hope because he has read more NOVELS than I have! :)

  3. Very interesting post!! I saw where you are really close to your family and that is you did not go off to college because you did not want to leave your family and that is the same reason for me as well. I thought that was cool cause many people can just go off and it not bother them but I hate leaving my family as well and whats why I didn't go off! I also think it is wonderful of you for wanting to teach the deaf. There isn't many people that can or want to do that. It takes a special person to be able to and I think that's pretty awesome for you wanting to do that. Great Post I really enjoyed reading it!

  4. Thank you so much, Chelsea. I really hope that I can actually teach the deaf. I found out that the closest university with a Deaf Education program is either Southern Miss (only an hour and a half away, but still!) or the University of Montevalo in Birmingham, and I don't think that I will be able to leave. But we shall see.