Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
8 years teaching
School and school district:
Lincoln High School, Lincoln Public Schools
I’m originally from Lincoln, NE. I received my education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have been teaching for 8 years and am currently at Lincoln High School. I enjoy beekeeping, astronomy, biking, and travel.
Why do you want to teach:
My love of teaching starts in the classroom. I enjoy preparing a thought-provoking lesson and showing students how it fits within the framework of an entire coursework. I enjoy trying to anticipate questions that students will ask while also preparing for the possibility that they will lead the discussion in a new direction. I find pleasure in forming relationships with students and discovering ways to motivate them toward success. The classroom is a lively place with incredible energy, and I become excited by the potential for student growth. When I am successful I feel a great deal of purpose in my profession. When I am unsuccessful, my frustration is outweighed by the desire to start again and help students make the necessary connections. Each year I have found that my passion for teaching expands as I encounter new challenges and find more effective ways to reach students successfully. The opportunities I have had to grow professionally at my current high-need school give me yet a greater interest in education.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
A memorable teaching experience for me was when I took a group of high school students in the astronomy club to an elementary school. The older students helped the fourth graders to build and launch paper rockets. A number of these high school students were passionate about rocket building, but didn’t possess strong social skills. Through the process of building and launching the rockets, they really opened up and connected with the younger students. The younger students absorbed the excitement for the topic and, as a result, they learned a lot and had a great time. I have remembered this, and I try to put students in the position of teaching their peers whenever possible.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I want to become a more effective teacher so that I can help more students achieve at higher levels. My hope is that the Noyce Fellowship will do this by deepening my understanding of the subject matter that I teach, helping me to acquire a variety of new and effective instructional strategies, and showing me ways to reach all learners in my classroom. My hope is that this will happen through the variety of coursework, research, and dialogue with the educators in my cohorts and instructors. I have a desire to be a leader in my school and in my district. I am particularly pleased that the fellowship coursework will include a course on leadership. I do not shy away from being a leader, but I recognize the need to develop my leadership skills in order to be an effective one. A question I hope the program will answer in particular would be, “How do we motivate teachers around us to want to teach at a higher level?”