Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
California State University Dominguez Hills
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I am a 21-year-old Mexican-American woman who wants to be a Biology teacher. I was born in Joliet, Illinois. When I was two years old, my family moved to Mexico, where I lived for fourteen years. When I was 16 years old, my parents decided that for my education it would be better to come back to the United States. I lived with my uncle’s family until I graduated from high school. Because my aunt did not want me to keep going to school, I started living by myself right after graduation. I got a part-time job, and have been working and going to school. I believe I am a normal college girl who wants to achieve her goals. I always try to work hard on all my projects and overcome any obstacles. Right now, my first goal is to graduate and start getting experience. I would like to keep studying until I achieve all my dreams. I know that I am able to achieve my goals if I work hard.
Why do you want to teach:
My work as a Teacher Aide in high school showed me how gratifying teaching can be.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
All my teaching experiences happened during my senior year of high school when I was a Teacher Aide (TA) for two different classes. One of the best memories that I have was of a student who had difficulty passing the Spanish class. His name was Manuel. He could speak and understand basic Spanish, but had a hard time reading and writing correctly. Because we had a big number of students in that class, the teacher could not help everybody. For this reason, the TAs had to spend a lot of time helping the students with the classwork. I was assigned to help a group of five people; Manuel was one of the members. I worked with them for a whole semester explaining all the grammatical rules for Spanish to them. We went over weak points that they had in specific areas of reading or writing. At the end of the semester, Manuel came to my desk with a box of chocolates. At first, I was really surprised and could not understand why he was giving me a gift. When he saw my confusion, he told me that it was to thank me for helping him. Without my help, he was sure he would not have passed the class. He also said that I was one of the best TAs he knew, and he could see me as a future teacher because I had the gift to teach others. Manuel’s words made me really happy and encouraged me to be a teacher because the best gratification that I could get is the satisfaction of helping the students and preparing them for the future. Everything else is a plus.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Noyce is an excellent program that helps future teachers economically and provides experience. The program is great because I gain experience by being in the classroom, interacting with different kinds of students, and by helping a teacher with experience. It also means an opportunity to go to a credential program after I graduate. I want to use all the tools and ideas the program provides to become an outstanding biology teacher and, most importantly, to make a difference in my future students’ lives.