Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics Teaching
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Utah/SMART program
Current academic or teaching status:
First year graduate student
School and school district:
Internship/co-teaching at West Jordan High School
I was born in Salt Lake City to good parents, Donald and Lucia Christenson and raised in East Los Angeles, CA. I have 4 siblings, two lovely sisters, Cecilia Campbell, Cristina Andros, and two able brothers, Elijah and Jeremy. I went to Montebello High School where I was inspired to be a Math Teacher by Roshan Shaw. I started college at Long Beach State and played on the Women’s Water Polo team. I took a leave of absence from school to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Minnesota. Then I transferred to the University of Utah where I was instructed by fabulous educators and earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics Teaching (without a license). Now it is my great opportunity to be in the SMART program and in graduate school for Mathematics with an emphasis in teaching at the University of Utah. Currently I am co-teaching at West Jordan High School with the fabulous Wendy Solomon who is also my Mentor Teacher.
Why do you want to teach:
I think that going into the teaching field is the greatest profession. I enjoy Mathematics and want to help make a difference in the lives of students who struggle with the subject. I want to help students see that if they work hard at it they can do math. I want to help students dispel any belief that they cannot do math because it is hard. I want to help them see that with their efforts and patience they can do hard things. The rising generation needs to be able to do mathematics because it is the gateway to the future. I also want to become a master teacher to help raise the level of instruction in schools.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
A memorable teaching experience I had was at Bryant Intermediate with their after school MESA program students. I was team teaching with a colleague on clock (modular) arithmetic. We had the students use fruit loops and yarn to make clock arithmetic bracelets. Each color of fruit loop represented a number. We taught them how clock arithmetic works and had them construct their own. It was a new experience for me, and it was a memorable one because I think that it helped to conceptualize modular arithmetic for them while being fun too. We use clock arithmetic in our daily lives, and it made me happy to help students conceptualize that and see how math is useful and that they could grasp that.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I see this as a great opportunity to get started into the teaching field and for continual development. I am so thankful for this opportunity and look forward to being a life-long learner.