Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Math/Science, grades 4-8
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Texas at Arlington
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I spent over 10 years in the workforce, working in retail management, logistics management, manufacturing management, and finally in process improvement. I never found fulfillment in these jobs, with the exception of training my employees. I always loved learning new things and teaching those things to others.
Why do you want to teach:
I love students. I have worked with students of all ages since I was a teenager. The last several years I’ve had the opportunity to work with students in middle school and high school and absolutely love them.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Recently when teaching a class, a student who I’ll call Paul (not his real name) was acting out for attention as hyper 5th grade boys have a tendency to do. Paul liked to pretend that he wasn’t interested or wasn’t paying attention to what was being taught. I calmly and privately spoke to Paul and told him that I knew he paid attention and that he knew the answer to 90% of the questions I asked. I spoke to him respectfully as one human being to another, but with some challenge in my words. Paul responded calmly that I was right and that he had always went home and told his mother about what he had learned that day. Since my subtle challenge to Paul, he has become more and more engaged. He is still a hyper 5th grade boy, but a few weeks after our talk, he became angry with one of his group members because he wasn’t doing what the group had been assigned to do. Paul took charge and led the group in the activity. This was a small victory, but one that shows what I believe to be true, that all students want to learn and be successful. Most of the time there are things in the way. I see my job as not just to present material to students, but to help them remove those obstacles, even if those obstacles are their own attitudes.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
First and foremost, the Noyce program has allowed me some financial stress relief. At one point in my college career, my wife and I were working five jobs between the two of us. We are now down to three (all part time). But just as important has been the exposure to more academic resources; resources that I can and will use once I am out of school and teaching, such as the NASA webinar series.