Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Elementary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics Coach, grades K-6
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
8 years teaching
School and school district:
Field Club Elementary, Omaha Public Schools
I am originally from Bellevue, NE. I received my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). I have been teaching for 8 years and am currently at Field Club Elementary in Omaha. I enjoy teaching Taekwondo and dance, studying martial arts, and singing.
Why do you want to teach:
I love learning and being able to share what I’ve gained with the people around me. Despite specializing in Math, I enjoy all subject areas, which is why I chose an elementary school path. The best part of teaching for me is when a student has an “a ha” moment. Allowing them the chance for discovery and growth is probably the best part of teaching to me.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
First and foremost, I believe that students recognize passion for a particular topic and respond to that passion when they experience it firsthand. As a teacher who worked in a high-need school with many struggling students, one of the most important messages I passed on to my students was that they could be successful at mathematics if they really actively participated in their learning. Although measuring the level of success I had in sharing this passion and belief with my students would be nearly impossible, over the years I have had many parents share with me that I changed their child’s beliefs and confidence level about mathematics. In particular, I remember a parent telling me that math had always been her daughter’s worst subject and that she previously had zero confidence in her abilities to be successful in mathematics. By the end of her sixth grade year, however, the girl’s mother told me that math was now her daughter’s favorite subject, and she had been placed in pre-Algebra instead of general Grade 7 mathematics for the following school year.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
With a master’s degree in teaching middle school mathematics, as well as several additional courses related to mathematics teaching and teacher leadership that I have been fortunate enough to take this year while at UNL, I believe that the 24-credit hour coursework will directly benefit me in my pursuit of a higher degree. At the end of the spring semester, I hope to have 42 credit hours to apply toward my doctoral program, and to begin the process of forming a committee to develop the rest of my program of study. The courses offered by the fellowship directly align with my educational goals, and would bring me that much closer to achieving my dream of graduating with a Ph.D. while continuing my work as a math educator in Nebraska. The fellowship will also help me become acquainted with other educators who share my career vision. I would be given the opportunity to collaborate with other leaders in mathematics education in the state, creating a valuable network of peers as I continue on my career path. Past experiences with cohorts like this have proven invaluable to my motivation and success in my endeavors as an educator. As someone who has gone through intense, small-group experiences like this before, I know that I thrive on being able to connect with my peers.