Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: MAT Secondary Mathematics Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Georgia State University/Urban Mathematics Education Program
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Clarkston High School, Dekalb County, GA
I had a rocky start going to college and deciding to major in mathematics. I soon found I made the right choice because of my love for the subject. My problem while an undergraduate was choosing a career field. Teaching was suggested, however, at that time I chose not to pursue teaching as a career. Instead, I graduated with a B.S. in mathematics from California State University, Stanislaus in 1997 with no clear career path. After several years of working in different careers–including my own business–I decided that I wanted to use my knowledge of math for something worthwhile. Teaching was the only and the most inspired idea that came to me. I entered Georgia State University in the summer of 2008, where I pursued and gained my MAT in math education by the summer of 2009. Soon after graduating I was hired by Dekalb County in Georgia to work for Clarkston High School.
Why do you want to teach:
I believe I teach for a number of reasons. The first and most important reason is I wish to impart my love of mathematics to others. I understand that many do not feel the same way I do about the subject. However, I wish to leave everyone affected by my teaching with a sense that math is always doable. There is no impossible problem, nothing that cannot be surmounted or broken down into a sum of parts.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I think the most memorable experience happened recently. While talking to a group of my more advanced students, they were trying to explain why math seems so hard to them. They stated that we covered too much material, too quickly and most of the time they felt overwhelmed. However, in the midst of this they also stated that sometimes while sitting in class and listening to me re-teach a concept they gain total clarity on a topic. I explained that this is what is called an ‘ah hah’ moment and that most students young and old, myself included, have these moments. It’s called learning.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Overall, Noyce has been a great resource to me. Being a part of this program has exposed me to a wealth of ideas, experience, and professional development that has been invaluable. It has been an incredible gift when faced with the rigors of the teaching profession.