Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Mathematics Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
California State University Dominguez Hills
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I was born in Los Angeles, California, and currently reside in the city of Cudahy. As a child growing up, I was always curious about my surroundings and had many questions about certain circumstances of life. I attended Elizabeth Learning Center during my middle and high school years where I was involved in their Information Technology Academy, which helped me understand different areas of computer technology. I obtained my first job during the summer–I was a teacher’s assistant at Elizabeth Learning Center. In my senior year, I attended East Los Angeles College (ELAC) during the afternoons and as time progressed, ELAC became my official college. While there, I discovered diverse cultures that intrigued me; I developed many great friendships with people who came from different countries around the world. In summer 2008, I decided to visit my relatives in Stockton. During this visit, I became a handyman and helped my uncle do home improvement work. Doing this type of work taught me the value of perseverance. It taught me to finish a job once it’s started.
As I was finishing my general studies at ELAC, I was still undecided on what major to pursue; nevertheless, I decided to transfer to California State University East Bay. I was there for only one quarter, but that time was significant because, apart from finding great friendship, I understood how I needed to pursue my career goals. I transferred to California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and chose their Mathematics Education option for my undergraduate major. I am near the end of my undergraduate studies, but will always remember the lessons and concepts that my undergraduate years have taught me; additionally, I will always look towards the future with great enthusiasm. I hope to influence others to widen their perspectives and opinions about themselves. I also hope to motivate the students to achieve their goals.
Why do you want to teach:
During my sophomore year, I was enrolled in a general chemistry course at ELAC. As the final weeks of the semester were coming to a close, I was part of a small study group that met every hour before class. There was a particular subject that everyone was having a difficult time understanding and applying a concept. As the second week before the final came, I decided to try and find an easy way to understand and apply this concept. Fortunately I found a strategy that the professor was not using during lecture. During the study group session, I revealed my strategy to one of my peers. The expression on his face told me that he completely understood everything. To my surprise, the following week was the moment that influenced me to become a teacher. The professor posted practice problems on the board that contained this concept of solving the problem. Three students whom I did not know went to the board, and each completed the problem using the same strategy I had taught one of my peers. It turns out that the person I taught showed another classmate. The strategy spread like wild fire; it was that astounding chain reaction that influenced me to go into teaching mathematics.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
A most memorable teaching experience I will never forget happened during the Saturday Academy conducted by the Noyce Program at CSUDH. I was part of a tutoring session along with other teachers, and we were helping fifth-grade students prepare for the California Standardized Test. The student I was tutoring was having difficulty understanding the concept of mathematical proportions. I used the student’s favorite superhero within each example problem I presented. As the last hour approached, the teachers agreed that we would conduct a math game. When a problem of mathematical proportions appeared during the game, the student I had taught, won second place. This immediately placed a smile on my face since this student went from not understanding the concept to gaining second place position in our game. I felt overjoyed knowing I had a positive influence on this student’s academic life.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Program is a family because there is a strong connection with each member; everyone helps each other. Each member has a positive attitude towards going the extra mile to help struggling students find their solid ground academically and persuade them to strive for higher education. The Noyce Program gives undergraduate students an inside view on the teaching process and excellent opportunities for them to develop their own teaching strategies.