Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Physics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Physical Science, grades 7-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Hendrix College (N-STEAD)
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and attended Mills High School, graduating at the top of my class in 2010. I then came to Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas to train to be a science researcher, ending up as a Physics major by the end of my freshman year. Only after a serious re-evaluation of my goals did I decide to pursue teaching last year, which my Noyce scholarship has made possible.
Why do you want to teach:
I love knowledge and academics, both are such a fundamental way of experiencing and being in the world for me, so I want to communicate not only knowledge but love and passion for knowledge and inquiry to young people. The second reason is that teaching is a field where I can work for social justice and contend with inequality of opportunity by providing students in need with a dedicated and effective teacher.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My favorite teaching experience so far came during a lesson on the causes of the seasons. Before teaching, my co-teacher and I realized we were not sure how we know the axial tilt of the Earth, that is, how to actually measure it. We made sure to find out before teaching, and some brilliant student actually asked during our lesson how we know the tilt of the Earth. It was very gratifying to see that we had made this student curious through our teaching; we were able to reward her curiosity with a deeper understanding of the Earth’s axial tilt.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Without the Noyce program, my current life situation would make it so the only way I could become a teacher would be through Alternative Certification with only a 15-day summer course and 8 Saturday courses throughout the year for teacher training. For the kind of teacher I hope to be, this is not adequate. Because of financial support from Noyce, I’m able to acquire the training and skills I need to grow into an excellent teacher at the outset of my career. The Noyce program also allows me to continue developing as a scholar, to become familiar with the wide field of research in education so that I can work as a research-based practitioner and approach everything I do with an attitude of critical inquiry.