Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: High School Math
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Ayer/Shirley High School
Ever since I can remember I have lived with a passion for change. Early on in my life my parents demonstrated what hard work was and what it meant to sacrifice yourself for what they loved most. For me this created a spark that lead to a fire of ambition and innovation.
I enjoy road biking, running, and hiking. I do enjoy learning new math and refreshing old math from previous courses for just the sake of fun.
Why do you want to teach:
When I wake up in the morning to teach I continue the charge for a revolution for equality. Kids today are in desperate need for someone to work with them in giving them a high notch education while their home needs can not be met. I teach to give those who are born under privileged a chance to achieve their hopes and dreams. I wouldn’t be were I am today if I hadn’t had very caring and nurturing people in my life.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I have a student named Jackie. She can stand out an alternative school student. She is multiple grade levels behind in her math and has a slow learning process.
I do this thing in my classes where on every paper i hand to kids it says, “Mathematician” where name tradtionally goes. Something small like this over time become huge for this one Jackie.
In class one day I had a student become frustrated with my teaching methods and was trying to make a scene. Jackie quickly stood up to defend me and said verbatim, “Hey! Don’t make fun of Mr. Knuuttila. He is training us to become great mathematicians and he believes in us! So knock it off and lets get back to learning.” This was something I used to think can only happen in dreams. It made me realize how the smallest acts of kindness can get a troubled kid on your side.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has given me more than I can ever to achieve on my own. To be part of a national network and get to travel to conferences to learn/present information on how to improve my practice is simply amazing.