My name is Hawley Laterza and I was born and raised in La Mesa, California. My entire childhood and adolescence was in my small yellow house in the suburbs of San Carlos. The first thing I remember about school was that I lived only blocks away from Gage Elementary, so my mom or dad would walk me to school. I also remember liking school quite a lot. I seemed to take a great interest in running, I would run before school, after school, and during my recess and lunch breaks. Keep in mind I was only in 3rd grade when I became obsessed with running. School was definitely something that always came easy to me. Of course, there were a few "harder" subjects for me like social studies (aka history), sometimes science. I never had a problem with english or math. Kindof strange I know, maybe its because I'm a lefty? ...Most of all school was a place I could see my friends and play all day long. After elementary school, I went to Parkway Middle School in La Mesa, for grades 6-8 and again found myself breezing through school with no problems. My electives were classes like Spanish, French, Cooking, music..among others. My electives were the highlight of my day. After 8th grade, I moved on to West Hills High School because it was a brand new school and I heard they had a great dance program (which ended up not being true at all!). In the summer before 9th grade, I took honors Algebra, and finished up taking all honors math classes up to Statistics my junior year. I really enjoyed math and when I applied to SDSU for the first time in 2004, I declared Stats as my major. High School was pretty easy for me, I was highly involved in the school with Cheerleading, ASB, class government, and Drama. I was always a busy person that multi tasked very well and needed little time to study. After high school, I began community college right away in 2004 at Grossmont College. By the time I arrived there, I had chosen Law as my major of choice and began drilling away at law related classes. I was so sick of the core classes (math, science, english) that I just needed a break. Unfortunately, I discovered about 3 semesters later that I didn't want to do Law, and wanted to pursue Spanish which was a class that I had been taking every semester since 10th grade in High School. Spanish was easy to me, fun, and made me feel like special that I could understand a different language. After missing a few important deadlines, I finally transferred to SDSU in 2009 as a Spanish Major. Shortly after that I realized that I wanted to teach. My 3rd semester at SDSU was dedicated to prep classes for the credential program there. With recent budget cuts, they are no longer offering spanish as a credential option, so I applied at CSUSM and here I am!
In terms of the rise of technology all over the world, I can honestly consider myself a total tech nerd. I have always stayed current with the internet. From chatting back in 2000, to creating an online "journal" that I designed myself in 2003- I even learned how to do all the complicated html stuff so I could get the coolest looking layout and links. In 2004, I discovered Myspace, and again learned how to customize my page and make it look "cool" have links, and strikethrough text, create columns, tile pictures...etc. Due to my extensive time in college Ive also stayed current with most PC software. I finally got my first Mac last year because my boyfriend is pursuing Graphic Design, I love it! After having an iPod touch since 2010, I was pretty familiar with apple. (it wasn't completely new to me). I am still learning how to use it though. After sitting through numerous classes that included nothing but lecturing with 200 powerpoint slides, I began to wonder why some teachers did not stay current with technology and trying to keep things exciting in the classroom. I even had one teacher that would write for 20 mins straight on the chalkboard, wasting precious class time. What I realized after taking all my introduction to teaching classes is that staying up to date with technology is both beneficial and necessary to keep up with your students. Now, students can not stare at a chalkboard for an hour straight, they will lose interest completely. I gained an appreciation for the teachers that attempted to make class exciting by making us do something with technology. Presentations that requite powerpoint is pretty much the norm now. I would love to be the type of teacher that can play vocabulary games with my students with iPads in the classroom. I find technology to be efficient in the classroom. My only concern is that face time is becoming awkward and rare. People are so used to texting that they would rather receive a text than answer their phone (myself included). I am not sure what kind of effects this will have on our social skills in the future.
The CSUSM mission statement stands for everything I hope to accomplish as an educator. Education equity is something I believe in strongly, I really felt like I could have been put in any school and still have been equally successful in my education despite what the statistics show. Now, there is so much emphasis on ancient tests that carry a heavy weight in the educational sector. I really feel like we must get away from this ridiculous tactic to show placement or where we stand as a school/community/country. Whatever the reason for these tests is not good enough. Diversity is also very important to me because I feel like there is a separation between cultures in the sense that we know nothing about other cultures and it is pathetic. It really feels like the US education system is so self centered and non diverse its quite embarrassing. I really don't mean to bash on the teachers of today, but I really feel like they have not evolved, and its leaving us in the dust in comparison to other countries. There really needs to be some changes so that school is fun for the students but they are still learning and becoming more rounded citizens.