Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Computer Science
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
First-year graduate student
School and school district:
Student Teaching (Fall 2011) with Sherry West at Southeast High School
I grew up in Denver and went to high school in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Math has always been a subject I have been interested in, and after completing my undergraduate at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, I decided to pursue high school math education.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach in a high-need school because I feel like I could make a difference. In order to be a good teacher in a high-need school, one must be able to connect ideas more with students’ interests in order for them to have equal opportunities of getting a great education. Connecting interests to the content material is something I strongly advocate in education. One teaching method will not necessarily work for every student, and each student deserves to have the material presented to them in a way they can understand if possible. The more resources a school has, the more options the students have for learning methods. Books, teachers, and online tools each cater to a different learning style. Within some high-need schools, the resources might be greatly limited to little more than just the teacher. In these cases, the students need a teacher who can work closely with them to find methods that work for them, and I know that I can put the effort into a class to do that.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My high school calculus teacher is one of the main influences in my mathematics career. She was very quirky and memorable, and had great skill in getting her students interested in math. It was clear that she knew the material very well, was very motivated to give students a strong education, and knew how to make math fun. When people ask why I want to be a teacher, she always comes to mind as a great example to follow. I hope to one day be that memory for others.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has been an amazing opportunity to allow me to switch directions easily. I enjoyed working toward a computer science degree, but it did not fully satisfy my desire to help others. Noyce has given me the opportunity to continue my education without having to worry quite as much about the “how.” It has been invaluable to me, and I’m very excited for the path that this program has afforded me.