Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: MAT Secondary Science
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Vermont
Current academic or teaching status:
Current Graduate Student
School and school district:
Vergennes Union High School
I grew up in northeast Pennsylvania camping and fishing in the Kittatinny Mountains. My love of the outdoors eventually guided me to a Wildlife and Fisheries degree program at Penn State University in central Pennsylvania, which happened to be a fabulous place to further develop my fly fishing skills. While there, I was trained as an outdoor educator and took college students into the wilderness to teach them skills during the weekends. This experience fueled my interest in education and convinced me to pursue secondary education as a career. I was eventually accepted into the MAT secondary science program at the University of Vermont where I am currently finishing up my master’s degree.
Why do you want to teach:
I am interested in teaching because America’s future depends on an intelligent and informed citizenry. My passion is rooted in the poor educational experiences I received during my adolescence, and the resulting negative consequences it had on creative and intelligent friends, as well as the local community. As an educator, I hope to awaken young minds to the real world applications of science by providing proper scaffolding and differentiation that allows students to understand its powerful explanatory power. I believe that all individuals have the ability to reach their fullest potential and build upon all aspects of their innate intelligences. I hope to reinforce self discipline in my classroom and build an environment that harnesses and directs student energy towards proactive engagement in course content.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
One especially memorable moment during my teaching that stands out is my work with a student with ADHD. I worked closely with this student over the course of a few months and found that I was able to help him through individualized tutoring. His grades steadily began to increase, and I was able to make informed recommendations to his Educational Support Team that modified his classroom instruction in a positive way. His interest in education has increased, and he now considers entering college, a thought that had not entered his mind before. This experience helped me realize the importance of collaborating with support staff and advocating for students. I will be much more considerate of individual student needs as a result of this experience.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has provided me with the tools I need to succeed in my career as a science educator. I have learned a variety of techniques that have increased my effectiveness in the classroom and instilled confidence in my ability to convey science content. My training has also been instrumental in developing engaging and meaningful learning experiences for my students. The funding provided by the Noyce program will be very helpful as I transition to married life and full-time employment this Fall. More significantly, the connections I have made with faculty and peers during my Noyce experience has been vital to my development, and will prove invaluable during my development as an educator.