Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: 7/8 Math Teacher
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School, Omaha Public Schools
I was born and raised in Council Bluffs, IA. I have lived in Omaha, NE for the last 6 years. I received my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I have been teaching at Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School since 2005. I like to read, and I have been a dancer for 20 years. I also enjoy spending time with my family, and going to amusement parks. I have been on some of the tallest, fastest roller coasters in the country.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach so I can help change the future of my students. I want to share my love of learning with others, and help my students to see how fun and exciting math can be. I want to help my students understand math, and feel more successful. I also enjoy the relationship that develops between a student and a teacher, and I want to learn as much from them about their generation as they learn from me. Finally, I enjoy the field of education because of the constant change. There are always new activities and techniques to try. I feel like a life-long learner, which is one of my goals.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Working in a magnet school, I have had the opportunity to work with diverse students. I have worked with both high- and low-socioeconomic students, as well as students of all ability levels. What I have found is that all students can learn, and all students can experience success. For the last six years, I have mentored students during an after-school program that helps close the achievement gap. I have worked one-on-one with students to make those connections that didn’t happen in the classroom and to prepare them for what is to come the next day. A key part of the program is organization. By helping students be organized by filling out their agenda, creating a homework folder and making lists, I have seen significant increases in homework completion and grade improvement. I loop with students, and as a seventh grader, a young man approached me about skipping pre-algebra and moving to algebra, because he did not feel challenged enough. Working with him during a summer program, he was able to complete the required coursework for pre-algebra successfully. He is currently maintaining an “A” in algebra 1-2. With the emphasis on testing, preparation is a major priority in our building. Through the after school program, I was able to work with a small group teaching test taking strategies, and consistently practicing standardized test skills. When working with a particular young man, I had the pleasure of witnessing his success story. Through re-teaching and strategizing, he scored more than 50 points higher than he did the previous year on the same standardized test.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I want to be an exceptional leader and mentor in the district I teach. I have been teaching for 7 years, and I am always looking for new and exciting ways to share math with my students and colleagues. I have always welcomed teachers, practicum students, and former students into my classroom to share the experience with me, and to hopefully give them great ideas when they get their own classroom. While I have not yet had the privilege of a student teacher, I eagerly await the opportunity. My goal is simple: I want to be the best that I can be. I want to be a mentor, I want to share my experiences and knowledge with others, and I want to share in my mentees’ successes. There is nothing better than giving feedback and encouragement, and then watching the successful outcome. Given the opportunity, the MTF program will give me the skills and resources I need to achieve my goal. Also, as I better myself through research and continued education, I will be able to provide more relevant and rigorous lessons designed to raise student achievement.