Five Questions with Lori Pursifull
September 21, 2013
Lori Pursifull joined the Robinson faculty this year after teaching for several years at Monroe Middle School.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I was inspired by my 4th grade teacher. She had a compassion for teaching and it made me want to be like her. I also had a psychology teacher at St. Pete Jr. College that spoke to the class about a need for teachers and the satisfaction you get from teaching. He inspired me to get a degree in [education].
What college/university did you attend? What was your major? Did you receive your Masters Degree?
I attended USF for 1.5 years after graduating from high school. My first declared major was medical technology. I was also working to pay for college and lost my desire to continue after 1.5 years. I worked for the next two years in a warehouse doing inventory control. I finally decided to go back to school and attended St. Pete Jr. College. I got my [associates] degree and transferred back to USF, where my major was mathematics education. I was still working to pay for school, but I was much more focused because I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I completed my [bachelors] degree and started teaching at Oak Grove Jr. High (where I interned). I went back after teaching for about seven years and got my Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
Aside from teaching, what else do you have a passion for?
I love to travel. I try to go somewhere out of Florida every summer. I love playing and watching all kinds of sports.
What are you currently teaching at Robinson High School? What previous schools have you worked at? What other subjects have you taught?
I am currently teaching Algebra I and Geometry. I taught at Monroe Middle School for the sixteen years. Before that I was at Oak Grove Jr. High (7th grade center) and Middleton Middle School of Technology (the first middle magnet school in Hillsborough County), which is now Ferrel Middle School. I have taught 6th grade intensive math; 7th grade intensive, regular and advanced; 8th grade intensive and regular; pre-algebra, algebra, algebra honors and geometry honors.
Overall, how has your teaching experience been?
This is my twenty-fifth year of teaching and I still enjoy it. Every new group of students presents new challenges and every year the county decides to try a new program, book or technology. Even teachers have to go to classes to learn what’s new in education. I wouldn’t change my career choice for anything else. I’m fortunate to get to work in a field I enjoy. It would be miserable to go to work every day and dread it.
Mitchel Chowning is a member of the class of 2015 at Robinson High School. Mitchel is on the Varsity Baseball team. Follow him on twitter @mitchelchowning