Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 7-8
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
20 years teaching
School and school district:
McMillan Magnet Center, Omaha Public Schools
I am originally from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I received my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and my Master’s from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have been teaching at McMillan Magnet Center in Omaha for 20 yrs. I enjoy solving puzzles, reading, traveling, playing volleyball, and swimming.
Why do you want to teach:
I am at a point in my teaching career where I don’t want to go back into the classroom, shut my door, and teach in isolation as so many teachers do. I am hungry for knowledge about what works in the classroom, and I want to share that information with my peers. I want to act as an agent that connects the larger educational community with the classroom teacher, and connects theory to practice. I want to provide support to new teachers entering the profession so they will choose to stay in the field despite the difficulty level of the work. I want to help all teachers become reflective practitioners in pursuit of personal and professional satisfaction as well as increased student achievement.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
In pursuit of raising student achievement, my lessons focus on developing students’ mathematical belief systems, providing students with frequent opportunities to discuss difficult tasks, and exposure to and practice with multiple problem-solving strategies. This year, students are making significant progress. To cite a specific example, three representatives from Texas Instruments and the lead math teacher from OPS visited my Title I eighth grade pre-algebra classroom. The lesson for the day asked students to write and solve an equation for eight different problem-solving situations. Students worked for nearly an hour on these problems and, in general, successfully answered six of the eight. At the close of the lesson, I was initially disheartened by the fact the lesson took so long to complete, until I realized my lowest performing students had persevered for almost an hour on mathematics that was very difficult for them. This is the true measure of achievement I want to report, and I want the larger educational community to see.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Through this fellowship, I will have continued access to the most current educational findings. I am hopeful this program will help identify a focus for my work and refine specific goals that can positively impact classroom teachers in my building and throughout the district. This fellowship will not only offer an opportunity for personal growth, but also will help me develop the skills necessary to effectively support other teachers. I am anxious to explore these areas of interest and begin a new journey in my career. I see the Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship as the beginning of a new phase in my career that will enable me to have a true impact on public education.