Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, High School
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Claremont Graduate University, Math for America Los Angeles
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Helen Bernstein High School, LAUSD
I grew up in Claremont California, a suburb of Los Angeles. After graduating high school, I left California in order to attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. There I received my bachelors degree in Mathematics as well as a minor in Computer Science. In college I was involved in both softball and the math club. I played on the school’s varsity team for two years and was an active member of the math club for all four years. I just recently completed the credentialing program at Claremont Graduate University and am currently working towards my Masters in Mathematics.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach because I want to open doors for students and help them reach their potential. There are many students out there who lack confidence, especially in math, and I want to show them that with enough persistance that anyone can succeed in math. I love working with students and seeing the ‘ahha’ moment when an abstract concept suddenly becomes concrete. I want to show students how math is everywhere and the logic skills they learn in the classroom can be applied in their everyday lives. I want to teach because I love my subject, but most importantly I teach because I love helping my kids.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
At the end of last year, after completing a unit on conic sections in my Algebra 2 class I had my students create hyperboloids using barbecue skewers and rubber bands. During the activity, everybody was engaged and worked diligently rubber-banding barbecue skewers together in order to build their hyperboloids. My students who normally go out of their way not to participate were most active in the activity. When one of my students commented that it did not feel like they were doing math, that turned the activity into one of my most memorable teaching activities. I love being able to share with my students how math is everywhere goes beyond variables and equations.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program as well as Math for America Los Angeles has provided me with much needed support during my first and now my second year of teaching. With the support provided from the Noyce program and Math for America Los Angeles I have been able to plan with fellow Math for America fellows, receive a variety of professional development, attend conferences, as well as receive individualized support from a math coach. All of these services helped make my first as well as the start of my second year a success.