Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Northern Colorado
School and school district:
Weld Central High School
I was raised in a small town by a farmer and a homemaker. I graduated top of my class in high school. I have always been very interested in playing sports, but it was a surprise when I was asked to play basketball at University of Colorado, Colorado Spring on a full-ride scholarship. I attended school and played basketball there for 3 years until I hurt my ankles to the point of needing a second surgery. The doctor told me to get surgery again or stop playing. I ultimately made a very hard decision to stop playing, and moved home to save some money and finish my degree at the University of Northern Colorado.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to be a math teacher because the aspects that I care most about in the field of teaching are the students and their success. Teachers play a major role in the development of a person. Eight hours a day for almost 200 days a year is a great deal of time for an adult to have an effect on a child. So many times I have heard from friends or family about the terrible teachers they have had and how they completely despise the subject matter covered by that teacher. I feel it is no coincidence that these people show a prejudice towards that subject, because of the teacher and his/her inability to connect the subject to all of the students. A bad teacher can ruin a student’s desire to learn. I want to teach so that students gain a respect for their subjects, as some teachers have done for me. I want to show my students that all you need to learn is the desire to gain the information, and a teacher that can help you along the way.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
As I was observing last year, a student from my host teacher’s class room came in to ask her questions on the Calculus homework. She asked me if I would be comfortable helping him, and I agreed. After finding out what they were working on (trying to reach back in my memory to figure out how to do the process myself), I started asking him questions, never actually telling him what to do, and also giving some pointers along the way that would speed up his learning process. After a short 10 minute period working with this student and giving him a mini lesson, he felt comfortable enough with the material to complete the homework. Before he left, he told me that he was glad he talked to me because I made the material make so much more sense than before. The next day, my host teacher told me that the student was happy that I was there to help him and asked if I would be there to help him in the future. This stands out to me because my favorite part of teaching is when you can see the material come alive and see the students experience the “ah ha” moment because of something you did for them.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has been very helpful to me. The scholarship has made it possible for me to graduate college and not have any student loans. I have not had a chance to enjoy any of the other benefits, such as conferences and mentors, that the Noyce program has to offer me in the future. I am looking forward to all of these and other important things the Noyce program can help me with on my road to becoming an effective teacher.