Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Geology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Geology/Earth Science
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab @ Marian University, Southport Middle/High School, George Washington Community High School
I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I have an Iraqi father, and an American mother, which provided for a mixture of rich cultures in my life. I have always been infatuated with science, especially the Earth Sciences, which is a huge reason why i want to teach them.
Why do you want to teach:
I see education as the answer to the problems on our planet. It allows me a means to express my desire to make the world a better place. I want to give people the chance that they deserve. The chance to show that they are worth something to the world. Many students have suffered an injustice in our current system, and I intend on changing that. Teaching combines my love for helping others, and my love of science. I can’t go wrong!
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Several years ago, I worked as a Study Hall Monitor at Southport High School here in Indianapolis. I had several students throughout the day that i was tasked to ‘babysit’. Unlike the other monitors, i tried to make the most of my time there by interacting with my students as much as possible. However, one day i was not very interactive and, honestly, did not pay much attention to the class, due to me being preoccupied with the computer. The setup of the classroom had my desk in the middle, with theatre seating on both sides of me, which my computer facing towards one side of the classroom. During one period, the entire class was really quiet, and in retrospect, too quiet. The bell rang and i naturally told my students to have a nice day and they all walked out. It was then when i finally decided to turn around to the image of the classroom being completely engulfed in toilet paper. The first thing i remember saying was “REALLY!?” and feeling more upset at myself for failing to even realize that this was going on. I knew who did it the instant i saw it as well, but i knew that he was not a bad student. He was just a little mischievous, so i decided to turn this into a teachable situation for both of us. I talked to him the next morning and told him about the implications of what he had done, and that it could be interpreted as vandalism and that there are serious consequences for that kind of thing. I also told him that even if there was no supervisor in the classroom, that still does not mean that he should get up and make a mess for someone else to clean up. Naturally, he was a little upset at this point because i was throwing the hammer down really hard on him, but i helped pull him back out of it by telling him that i thought that it was kind of funny, because it really was. When i had time to step away from the situation, i laughed. I told him that, and his response was that he was hoping that it would make me laugh because i looked like i was upset that day. We both smiled and i let him go about his business. It just goes to show that if you put the effort in to get to know your students, they will respond in a positive manner. Throwing toilet paper around the room may not be the best way to express appreciation for ones work, but the good intent was there! 🙂 🙂 🙂
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Aside from the financial implications that the program provides, I feel a great sense of optimism for being part of this program. I feel as though someone has finally looked my way and said that I am worth the time and effort to invest in. This is a huge motivator, because there have been times where i question if i am doing the right thing or not. Not my choices to be an educator, but more so the way i am pursuing the profession. I like to think I am a very abstract person, and do not fall into many tropes. This is why it is great to know that someone out there can see into my methods, and appreciate them for what they are.