Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology and General Science, Math, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Woodburn High School, Valor Middle School, French Prairie Middle School, Woodburn School District
I grew up in Tacoma, WA. I experienced a very non-traditional education background–home school, public school, community college, private school–I have seen it all. I have always been interested in working with youth, and spent many years volunteering in youth outreach programs and local homeless shelters. As I began high school, I became very interested in the sciences, and was fortunate to be in the Richter Scholars Research Program, focusing on avian thermal homeostasis. I love the power that science has to change the world, and am excited to share that knowledge with students.
Why do you want to teach:
Teaching is a way for me to partner my love of science with my passion for and background in working with youth. Science is such a vital subject area because I believe that it has the potential to really empower students. It can empower them to think critically about the world around them, make wise, informed decisions, and be leaders in society. I want to equip today’s students with the knowledge base to be empowered.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
The very first day in one of my teaching placements, I met a boy I’ll call “David.” None of the students wanted David in their group because he never did any school work, and they did not want to deal with him. When I tried to group him with students, he told me “I don’t do work because that’s just how I am. I don’t do school, I don’t need it.” After a few conversations with me and my cooperating teacher, he began to realize that he was completely able to catch up, and he turned in many late assignments, worked hard, and was eventually passing his class. He laughed with joy when I showed him his grade. I think I will always treasure that moment, and it will stay in my memory for those days when I am discouraged.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
This program’s funding has made graduate school a realistic and attainable choice for me, financially. This program has given me a strong background in teaching science and math in new, innovative ways that I would not have ever thought of independently. The program setup is very unique from other teaching programs, really immersing me in the schools and community I am teaching in, showing me the value of culture and context. This program has been extremely valuable to me, and I am so thankful this opportunity has come my way.