Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics and Secondary Teacher Certification
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Middle School
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Bryn Mawr/Haverford Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Philadelphia Public School District
I was born and raised in Philadelphia by parents who were and continue to be advocates for the success of the community. It was through their concern, compassion, and dedication that I recognized my role as a mentor to my peers. Throughout my years as a student in the Philadelphia Public School system, I was heavily involved with community service. As part of the Building with Books program through my high school, I served in numerous community projects. I was also afforded the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua for the summer and help build a school. In the summers to follow and throughout my college years to the present, much of my community efforts have focused on education for the “underprivileged” and in areas of high-need. My work has involved assistant teaching at a daycare in Southwest Philadelphia for infants and school-age children, tutoring middle school students through Communities in Schools of Atlanta, serving as a 2010 Summer Teaching Fellow for Uncommon Schools in NY, assisting and mentoring high school students through a program known as Philadelphia Futures, and currently mentoring high school students from the Philadelphia area.
Why do you want to teach:
Ever since I was a little girl, I possessed a love of learning and an ambition to teach. But for many as a student, I often felt a disconnect between my life experiences and studies, and even questioned the practicality and relevance of subjects such as math. However, this experience also fueled my ambition to teach, through a desire to transform pedagogy and reconnect with students. This desire also stems from my joy in working with youth and recognizing education as their path to freedom and advancement.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
One of my most memorable teaching moment occurred this past summer during my Summer Teaching Fellowship with Uncommon Schools in NY. As one of two third grade summer academy teachers, I taught math and reading mastery. For the first week, I found myself struggling to find my own voice within the scripted math lessons and encourage the participation and interest of my students. After many days of dreading my execution of the math lesson, I decided to take my own approach and teach the lesson in a way that I felt would keep my students engaged by allowing them to be more active learners. This approach was first initiated during the second half of my lesson on comparing, adding, and subtracting fractions. As a review, I began the lesson asking students various questions that demonstrated their understanding fractions. This involved their manipulation of a bag of skittles that I handed each student containing different proportions for each color skittle. I then gave a mini lesson on adding and subtracting fractions using fraction tiles on a projector and incorporating a mixture of whole class response, students responding with their hand raised, and cold calling. Following this mini lesson, I gave the students a longer independent practice time allowing them to eat a skittle for every right answer they produced. Throughout the lesson, the students showed interest and excitement. It was the first time that both I as well as the students were having fun while learning. It was definitely a stepping stone in my experience teaching in the classroom- being confident, incorporating useful techniques(as observed by Doug Lemov in Teaching Like A Champion), and effectively carrying out the lesson, while keeping my students engaged and fostering a love of learning.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
This scholarship solidifies my desired role as an educator and advocate for the advancement of minority students in mathematics. Given the support, opportunities, and experience that I will receive through the Noyce scholarship, I hope to grow and fulfill that role.