Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology and Geology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Life Science, grades 6-12
Category of stipend/stipend/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Institution:
University of Texas at Arlington
Current academic or teaching status:
I have worked in different school districts as an aide, tutor, and substitute teacher since 2008.
School and school district:
Currently, I work at the Dallas Zoo as a nature educator. I teach school programs during the school year and camps during summer.
I was born and raised in El Salvador. When I was one year old, my mother came to the United States. I grew up surrounded by tropical gardens and farm animals in my grandparents’ country house. After graduating high school, I came to the United States to go to college. It was very hard at first. I missed my family very much. Sometimes, I still miss the rain-forest, beaches, and volcanoes of my homeland. However, I have learned to love Texas and its weather! I finished college in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology. I am currently working on my Masters of Science in Earth and Environmental Science. My thesis focuses in the study of microfossils from a rock formation from Fort Worth, Texas.
Why do you want to teach:
I am interested in becoming a high school teacher because I want to inspire others. I aim to bring more than academic knowledge to the classroom. I hope to deliver encouragement and proof that hard work and perseverance are powerful tools to succeed in life. I strongly believe that success is not the lack of failure but the endless recovery from it. Second, I think that teaching secondary life science will offer me a unique and valuable experience. I would like to experience the non-tangible rewards of being a teacher and obtain familiarity with typical problems in a classroom. My experience working in different formal and informal education settings have prepared me to help my future students learn the curriculum, achieve their personal goals, and acquire better study skills.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Teaching summer camps at a zoo has been a very memorable experience for me. While teaching fifth graders about conservation of wildlife, I learned that being passionate about a subject is a powerful tool in education. After talking to a group of campers about endangered birds of prey such as the harpy eagle, one of my campers hosted a lemonade sale at her house to collect funds to help bird conservation efforts in Central America. The next morning her parents came with a check "to save the animals." She collected $50! She was very proud, and so was I. She taught me that teaching is showing that you care and making others care about similar issues as well.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has given me the opportunity to pursue my academic and personal goals: making a difference in someone's life. By becoming a teacher, I hope to teach my students life-long lessons while sharing with them my love for science. I believe in the power of education. I think I can make them believe in their potential and encourage them to face life with resilience and enthusiasm.