Noyce Scholar Profile
Maria del Carmen Luevano
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Texas at El Paso
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Math tutor, El Paso Community College
I am a junior at the University of Texas of El Paso pursing a major in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education. I am a returning student having graduated from San Elizario High School in 1985. Prior to returning to college, I was a call center branch manager for ten years and have over 20 years of management experience. I received an Associate Degree in Mathematics from El Paso Community College where I became a tutor for the Math Emporium and then moved to the Student Support Services Program. These programs offer tutoring for remedial math courses and have allowed me an opportunity to tutor students struggling in math. I was extremely fortunate to be selected as a Robert Noyce Scholar in Fall 2011, and it has been great thus far. I am looking forward to everything it has to offer.
Why do you want to teach:
I have always enjoyed math, when in high school I competed in a district competition in math (number sense). When I was laid off due to the economy, I saw it as an opportunity to return to school and combine what I really enjoy doing–coaching, developing, and math. As I began to tutor, it was clear to me that the students I was tutoring did not have a strong foundation in mathematics and therefore, struggled in their remedial classes. Being able to help students understand math concepts and the steps to resolve problems has been extremely rewarding. Students I have tutored often tell me that math is not so bad once they understand it. I feel I can make a difference at a high school level and teach students that math is fun and easy once you understand it. Students need to be ready for college in all areas especially math.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My most memorable teaching experience occurred during a mini teach that I did for an education class. I taught a Pre-AP Geometry class and used Archimedes Puzzles as an inquiry activity. I asked students to create some shapes that I provided while other students attempted to create their own. All were engaged in the activity, and when they were done with the shapes, I incorporated the classrooms teacher’s objectives to the shapes. We discussed shapes, symmetry, area, and angles. At the end of the class, several students approached me and told me that it was fun, I replied by saying, “math is fun.” It felt great knowing that I made an impression using mathematics.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program is an opportunity like no other. Having the opportunity to learn and develop alongside teachers and mentors is exceptional. Being a returning student, I have gone from a full salaried employee to a part-time tutor, so in terms of finances, being a Robert Noyce Scholar has allowed the chance to accomplish my goals.