Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 5-8
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
First Year Teacher
School and school district:
Framingham Public Schools
I grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013 with a BS in mathematics and a minor in education. After graduating from UMass, I was accepted to Math for America Boston with a full academic scholarship to Boston University through the NSF Noyce program. In May 2014 I completed my Master of Arts in Teaching degree with a focus on mathematics education at Boston University. In 2012 I participated in mathematical research through SUMaR, a Research Experience for Undergraduates at Kansas State University and in 2014 I was a intern through the STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Edwards, California. I also completed a senior thesis at UMass Amherst on the eigenvalues of the zig-zag products of complete graphs. My student teaching was in 7th grade math in Waltham, MA, and this fall I will begin my first year of teaching in Framingham, MA teaching 6th grade math.
Why do you want to teach:
I have always wanted to teach. This passion was reaffirmed during my junior and senior years as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the math department at UMass. I love helping others understand math and seeing that moment where it all comes together. Oftentimes, math is built up to be this mysterious subject that only a very few individuals can actually understand. It is this idea that I want to change. I want to help students feel confident enough in their mathematical ability that they will embrace challenging problems. My goal is to help students to feel empowered by mathematics.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My memorable teaching experiences come from my student teaching practicum. There was a student in one of my classes who was struggling, and I could tell that she was self-conscious about her ability in the classroom. I often saw her withdrawing from group work because she felt that she did not have much to contribute and was afraid of being wrong. She would often make comments to her group members such as “don’t listen to me, I don’t know anything.” I spent time working with this student one-on-one, helping her to approach problems calmly and with the attitude that she could be successful. At the end of my practicum, she told me that I had helped her to “actually like math,” and while she still had times where she struggled, I could tell that she did not feel quite as frantic as she had before. This experience encouraged me as a teacher and made me excited to help more students!
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has afforded me the opportunity to receive a rigorous training in mathematics education. The Noyce program at Boston University exposed me to current research in the field of mathematics education and allowed me the opportunity to connect and learn from experienced, successful professors and teachers. Through the financial support of the Noyce program, I was able to focus on my studies and student teaching without having to worry about the finances of graduate school. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities that I have been exposed to through the Noyce program.