Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 6-12
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I was born and raised in Baltimore County. Growing up and throughout school my favorite thing to do was draw. Visual Arts was my prime subject in both middle and high school, but I was also strong in math and science. I went to a community college, unsure of which path to take. When I transferred to Towson University, I planned to double major in math and art. However, when I heard about the Noyce program, I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity and decided to pursue math.
Why do you want to teach:
I have worked in retail, restaurant and office settings, but my favorite job was being an assistant math instructor at Kumon Learning Center. I’ve always enjoyed teaching and considered pursuing an education career, but my experience at Kumon confirmed my passion. Working with students, being able to build relationships, watching them grasp concepts and progress was very satisfying. I really loved the feeling of impacting young people’s lives. I’ve had several teachers who have contributed to my success and I want the opportunity to do the same for my own students.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Working as a math tutor provided me many memorable experiences. One especially memorable moment for me was being able to rekindle a joy for math in one of my students. My co-worker had been working with this student on operations with negative numbers. She spent weeks confusing and forgetting how to do the problems. My co-worker struggled to drill the concepts in this student and kept sending her back to repeat the lesson plan. They were getting frustrated with each other, and the student was quickly losing interest in her work. For one class, I offered to take her to give them a break from each other and to attempt a new approach. We sat down, and I drew a number line on an index card. I am a visual learner, so hoped maybe this would help the student see what she was doing. After a few practice problems, she said, “OHHHH! I think I get it now!” She even smiled and said “Thank you Miss Gabrielle. I’m going to see if I can do it by myself now.” She kept the index card for a long time. Sometimes when she was stuck on a problem, I would see her pull it out for reference. I was extremely excited to break down the wall she had built up, and felt proud that I was able to connect with her struggle and was able to break through to her.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I am new to the Noyce program, but am really excited to take advantage of the opportunities. I am especially grateful for the financial support and being able to pursue my desired career. I look forward to meeting new people, networking, making use of new resources, and for the program to help make my college experience very enjoyable.