Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Grades 6-12 Math
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
California State University, Northridge / CSUN NSF Teaching Fellowship Program
Current academic or teaching status:
First year Credential Student
School and school district:
Student teaching at San Fernando Middle School in Los Angeles Unified School District
I am currently pursuing my Single Subject Credential in Mathematics and a Masters in Mathematics at California State University, Northridge. In 2006, I graduated from Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, California. In 2009 I earned my bachelors of science in mathematics from the University of California, Irvine where I also minored in educational studies.
Why do you want to teach:
From the beginning, I was particularly drawn to the field of mathematics. Numbers made sense to me, and I liked that there was always an explicit and right answer to each problem. Slowly, mathematics became my confidant; it became the language that I understood the best. However, as I progressed through my school years, I realized that mathematics was a difficult subject for many of my peers. I feel that when my teachers sat down with me each day as a child and taught me math in a manner I could comprehend, played an important role in developing my interest and understanding of the subject. I believe that teachers play a crucial role in developing a student’s interest and understanding in mathematics at an early age. Math can be confusing and intimidating if not taught appropriately, but when taught with patience, understanding and adapting to each child, math can generate tremendous confidence and ultimately passion in students. An effective mathematics teacher is one who also plays an active role in a student’s life by being knowledgeable about the subject, passionate about teaching, and receptive to change. I feel that the CSUN NSF Teaching Fellowship Program has provided me with an opportunity to become an effective mathematics teacher.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
While working as a tutor I came into contact with a young lady named Joanna. Joanna was taking a high school level trigonometry course, and she was having difficulty understanding the unit circle, and how to interpret angles on the unit circle. After working with Joanna for a couple of weeks I was able to break down the unit circle for her in a way that made sense to her. I drew a picture and used prompting questions to elicit correct responses from Joanna. She was able to teach herself and put together the pieces from the questions I asked. This experience in my mind stands out, because this is the exact role of the teacher. An effective teacher is a facilitator who uses prompting questions and explains material in a way that is specific to each student.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has provided me with the support and opportunity to become an effective mathematics teacher. The seminars, professional development, and close contact with professionals in the math education field have been an excellent resource for me to pursue my passion in teaching.