Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Geology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Earth and Space Science, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Kansas
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Lawrence (KS) Unified School District
I graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Psychology and Philosophy. I worked for many years in social services, and then wanted to change careers. I asked myself, “If there is anytime in your life to do exactly what you want to do, now is the time. What do you want to do?” The reply came easily, “I want to be a science teacher.” From there I found the UKanTeach Program at the University of Kansas (KU). I will graduate with a geology degree next summer and will work as a secondary Earth and Space Science teacher in the public schools in Lawrence, KS. I have a crazy-cool-smart-fun 10 year-old son named Eli. My family lives close, and we get together often. I love living in Lawrence and am so happy with my life.
Why do you want to teach:
I have always wanted to be a science teacher. Ever since Mr. Wandell in 4th grade taught us the word, “hypothesis,” I had this idea that if you want to teach science, then you have to be good in math. I was not good in math, so I considered myself out of the running. In the winter 2009, it occurred to me that I was letting my fear of math keep me from doing what I really want to do. It really made no sense. I can learn to do math, and I have. I just finished Calculus this summer at KU! I cannot wait to create a classroom where kids can feel great about themselves and know that they can learn anything!
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I have “stage fright” when I think of standing in front of a classroom every day, teaching. I have worked with my a mentor teacher at KU to understand and manage what are realistic and unrealistic fears. She knows I have everything I need to be a successful teacher, even though it doesn’t seem like it to me. I was talking to a colleague who teaches high school English about my fears. She she told me that there are two kinds of people in the world: One who walks into a room and says,”Here I am!” And one who walks into a room and says, “There you are!” I am determined to be the latter. It’s an amazing reminder that the most important thing is not how I feel, the most important thing is that each kid gets acknowledged and knows she or he can succeed.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Because of the Noyce Scholarship, I will be able to have financial aid through next summer. I did not have financial aid this summer, and I had to take calculus. Financially this was extremely difficult as I only can work part-time with school and raising my son, Eli. Next summer I am taking a required 6-week field study class in geology in Colorado through KU. Because of the Noyce Scholarship, I will get financial aid, which means I can complete my last requirements and get out there and teach! Outside of the huge difference the scholarship makes financially, I am so proud to have this scholarship. It really boosts my confidence and makes me understand that I will be a great teacher because of the support of my program at KU, the community of teachers in Lawrence, and the love and support of my family. I so appreciate the freedom to succeed that the Noyce Scholarship affords me.