Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Civil Engineering
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 Greg Sand, a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow at Omaha Central High School
I grew up in Lincoln, NE and graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School. I spent a year in Germany as a foreign exchange student before returning to Lincoln to get a B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska (UNL). I worked at a civil engineering firm in Omaha as a railroad bridge designer for four years, until I decided to become a math teacher.
Why do you want to teach:
I first time I knew I wanted to become a teacher was the day I stood in front of a high school classroom at an Omaha high school’s career day. I was the guest speaker talking to young people interested in becoming engineers. I shared what I did as an engineer and what it was like to pursue an engineering degree. At the end of my presentation, I gave them time to ask questions. Answering gave me a chance to engage with the students–my favorite part of the day. I left the school that day feeling invigorated by how much I enjoyed talking to those students. How could I, someone who was terrified of public speaking, stand in front of a classroom and speak for one hour about engineering and have fun at the same time? Reflecting leads me to a series of life experiences that have led me to my goal of becoming a teacher.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My first two education courses at UNL have been taught by Dr. David Fowler. He has done a great job at challenging us to think of “non-traditional” ways to approach math teaching. From working in the engineering profession, I know that the “non-traditional” approach to teaching–group work, discussions, and word or thinking problems–is what is going to make students successful.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I see great importance in students having good teachers–especially good math teachers. The Noyce program holds this same belief and is committed to producing math teachers who will serve students in schools where they will be most effective–high-need schools. I feel honored to be part of a program whose belief about education aligns so closely with mine, and I look forward to making a difference.