Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S. Chemistry, Masters in Teaching
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Science, grades 7-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Vermont
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School, Bristol, VT
I graduated from Long Island University – C.W. Post Campus with a major in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. After graduation, I enrolled in the Chemistry PhD program at Cornell University. Finding the research component difficult and frustrating, and the lab teaching assistant duties enjoyable and rewarding, I decided to withdraw to pursue a secondary science teaching career. I am now finishing the MAT degree program at the University of Vermont and will be obtaining certification in general science and an endorsement in chemistry.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach because it is a career at which I can excel. This is something that is very important to me. Also, while liking the work the job requires, I know it helps others. I cannot think of a more noble profession than educating the future citizens of our civilization.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
When I learned stoichiometry, it was according to the dimensional analysis method. Later, I became familiar with other techniques including proportions and formulas. However, the first way seemed the easiest. When I began teaching stoichiometry, I assumed the students would pick up the concept best through dimensional analysis–I was very wrong. I resorted to alternatives, which worked much better for them. It turns out that the mathematics curriculum at the school puts a strong emphasis on solving problems with proportions. This experience taught me two things. First, my students may not necessarily learn in the way I thought was easiest. Second, I can improve my students’ learning experience by taking advantage of their strengths, what they already know.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has given me an opportunity to pursue teacher certification at a reduced financial cost. Attending an out-of-state public university is not cheap, and I am grateful for the financial compensation the scholarship offers.