Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology and Chemistry, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Missouri / Science and Mathematics Academy for the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers
Current academic or teaching status:
One year teaching experience
School and school district:
Timberland High School, Wentzville School District
I have an undergraduate degree in Biology from Truman State University. After graduation, I decided I did not want to work in a secluded laboratory so found a program to earn my M.A. in Education to be able to teach my love of science to young students.
Why do you want to teach:
I believe young minds are eager to explore, learn and discover, and I hope to bring those attribute to my classroom. Helping students learn how to learn and seeing their “aha” moments happen on a daily basis is what motivates me to teach.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
During my internship, I had a Biology general education class that also included a special education class. (This is called a class-within-a-class or CwC.) After a particular lesson about photosynthesis that included multiple means of explanation, such as a video, a game, notes, and a discussion, a generally poor performing student within the CwC class began answering questions and making connections. This student got every answer correct and even began helping the other students in the general education section of the class. He scored an A on the unit test, and it was obvious that after that lesson, his confidence in my classroom had been boosted considerably. This moment stands out to me because it was only a few days earlier that I had learned about UDL, or Universal Design for Learning. I learned about UDL in this way: the goal of implementing sidewalk ramps was to make taking walks easier for people with disabilities, but it turned out that these ramps also helped many other people–toddlers, pregnant women, people pushing strollers or carts, runners, etc. I decided to implement a similar strategy in my classroom for a relatively complex topic such as photosynthesis. I included games, videos, activities, lab explorations, readings and discussions into one lesson, in hopes that all students would benefit from one or all of these strategies. I believe UDL helped my CwC student succeed.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
As a young adult in a slowly recovering economy, money was already tight. With Noyce, I was able to get the degree I wanted and to have the career I loved without worrying about my debt piling up further. Noyce has helped me to reach my dreams, and in effect, it has helped my students reach theirs.