My name’s Heriberto Rodriguez, a mouthful I know, which is why most people call me Eddie. I was born and raised in Oxnard, California and until very recently moved permanently to Encinitas with my wife and two boys. It is safe to say that I hated elementary school, and I failed every year of it. Teachers seemed fine with me sliding by, as much as I was fine doing the bare minimum for them. I just could never see the point of school or the randomness of the facts being taught. It wasn’t until I reached middle school when a group of teachers took an interest in me, and ignited my dormant passion for learning. They taught me that learning was a way of understanding not the just how the world worked, but also how my mind worked and how I could test it. It was at that age that I knew that I could inspire the same passion for learning in other students like myself. I decided to become a teacher not to change the world but rather to try and inspire the people around me. I hit the books hard, got straight A’s through high school and college, and finally graduated with honors with a BA in English and an education emphasis. Suffice to say I don’t believe any of my grade school teachers would ever believe I could have accomplished what I have so far. My hope is that I can someday return to my students the gift that was given to me in middle school.
I have always loved technology and if I was ever inspired in grade school it was when I got a chance to touch the magical box. I didn’t get my own computer until I was thirteen, when my dad made a bet with me that if I got straight A’s he would buy me a computer. A bet he didn’t think I would win. When my report card came he took me that day to buy my first PowerPC Mac. Since then I’ve used Mac’s and Pc’s in a variety of ways. I edit video, create websites, make flash animations, make music, and most recently I’ve started to learn how to make iPhone apps. Basically, I like to find ways to make my life easier through technology. In the last ten years I’ve used Mac’s almost exclusively, though I will admit I do duel boot into windows every so often. As for the computer revolution, it is happening, and those who know how to use the tools will be better off than those who don’t. I believe that we need to not only integrate computers and iPads into our classrooms, but that to not do so really hinders our student’s futures. They need to not be afraid of these new tools, but rather embrace what they can and cannot do for them.
The School of Education’s mission statement was one of the factors which made me apply to CSUCM. I like the idea of student centered teaching, collaboration, and life long learning. I believe that for far too long educators have taught in bubbles, keeping small bags of tricks to themselves. Not only that, but there has also been a culture which promotes stagnation and fear of change. So to be involved with a program, which breaks those traditions and prepares us to be more dynamic in the classroom is exciting to me. I believe that in order to be an effective teachers we can’t be afraid to try new things. In fact we need to be on a constant search for better, more innovative ways to get our students attention. With that being said innovation doesn’t have to come from technology, it can often be found in the teacher next door. Collaboration and a will to try and learn, I believe are things that we need to be successful teachers, and I’m excited to be part of a program that promotes both.