Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me
My name is Jarrod Roberts,I am 34 years old and I am a proud husband and father of four beautiful children, three boys and a girl. I spent 12 years in retail and management and realized that I was missing a lot of special moments with my family. I received an Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Faulkner State Community College in 1998. After evaluating what was important to me and my family I leaned towards the passion I have for history. For my personal enjoyment and hobby I have spent time retracing local history. I can remember a few teachers through the years that had a passion for a subject therefore they were very good at teaching it to the students. I also remember some instructors that spit out facts for the students to memorize. Where is the fun it that type of teaching? That is when I realized I wanted to make a difference in the future of history!

I also enjoy playing golf and fishing. Golf is a sport that teaches patience and consistency. Without either of those qualities you might as well go beat a tree with a stick and not waste forty dollars. Fishing is very calming to me so I find myself using it as a way to defrag my brain. Sometimes I play a great game of golf and sometimes I catch big fish but what I feel that I am best at is loving my family. I have been blessed with a big heart and lots of love for my wife and children.

My Future Classroom
The classroom can be an intimidating place for anyone. Whether it is a small child starting kindergarten or an adult continuing education later in life, the classroom can be scary. I look forward to providing an environment that encourages discussion from all students and hopefully break down the walls of "boring" history. I hope to teach American History in high school. The reason for choosing high school over middle school is that older children have less interest in history and therefore history classes in college will be more of a challenge. I want to prepare the students for the next level and just maybe impact someone enough that they choose history as a career path and continue to make a difference in the future of history.

I want the students to enjoy learning about history. Keeping the students actively engaged in class is quite a challenge if lecturing all the time. On the other hand if the assignments are reliving history through presentations of their own work and research or through making videos of historical sites they have visited with exciting facts they absorbed from a tour, the students will remember history with much more ease.

Being a history major it may come as a surprise that I do not like to read extensive journals in which the reading level is graduate level or higher. I will not require my students to painfully read through such articles. Students in secondary schools do not like to be bored. Excitement and cutting edge technology will keep them engaged, by allowing the students to have fun with history by presenting it in alternate ways that some historians would scoff at or condemn. Tonight, for example we were trying to get our two year old daughter to eat her dinner and she only wanted her cup. My wife got creative with the presentation of the food and she ate a good bit. Keeping the students engaged is very important and presentation is key.

I have a son that is in seventh grade and he is in what is called the academy at Semmes Middle School. The teachers there are setting the bar at a higher level by assigning projects that encourage the use of technology. It is very important for history professionals to embrace new technology to reach the children. Using resources such as podcasts and virtual tours that the children can access from smartphones, tablets, or portable computers will allow them to access the school work from anywhere without having to miss out on weekend family trips or church trips by staying at home and studying.

Hopefully by the time I reach the classroom portable technology will be much more accessible no matter the economic standing of the student and I will be able to take full advantage of new technology in presenting the curriculum. Smartboards are already in most all classrooms in Mobile county today. Learning will focus around audio visual presentations. The decor of the classroom will be basic due to the fact that most all learning will take place around technology. Classroom bulletin boards will most likely be used to display historical photos for mere decoration.

Randy Pausch
Dr. Pausch mentioned a couple of things that really stood out to me. Dr. Pausch stated that experience cannot be faked. From time to time when I assign a chore to one of our sons, I will inspect the end result. Many times I will discover that they did not have a clue how to do what I asked. Making sure clear instruction is given is key but also expecting it to not be perfect at first is important. I can remember the first time I ever played golf. I was sporting a new branded logo hat, a fresh pair of golf shoes, new clubs, and top of the line golf balls. I looked the part of someone who knew how to play golf, with a warm up swing that could impress Tiger Woods, but when I approached the ball and made the first swing it was evident that I was not an experienced golfer.

Dr. Pausch also talked about "To Do" lists and how it is important to go ahead and knock out the worst task first. This is something I try to practice as often as possible. Sometimes though I have a project that I let loom over my head for days, dreading every moment while I am working on the other tasks. That usually ends up reducing the quality of the easier tasks and by the time I tackle the final project I am a ball of nerves. As an older student I have years of work experience that I can relate to my school work and some positive attributes that help me with projects. I am not perfect and sometimes I choose to put other things before school work to only stress over them at a later date.


  1. I probably talked in your class about the golfer in our house - my wife. What is your handicap?

    Well written. Welcome to EDM310!

    1. I remember you referencing your wife and how she realized she needed to grind it out on the course and study to improve her game. I haven't had the chance to play very much in the last few years, but the last accounts I remember is that my handicap was somewhere around 20. During the year of 2007 I had the opportunity to play three to four times a week and my skill level improved dramatically and I was around 12 handicap at that time. I look forward to finishing my degree for many reasons but golf ranks pretty high on that list.