Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I am from Rhode Island and currently a senior at Stonehill College. At Stonehill, I am involved in the NOYCE Scholarship Program, the Education Society and the Math Club. I am also a member of the Kappa Delta Pi, Lambda Epsilon Sigma, Sigma Zeta and Kappa Mu Epsilon Honor Societies. I didn’t fully appreciate my understanding and love of math until high school where I was able to actually explain what I was doing in each problem. I have been inspired by my middle school and high school teachers throughout the years.
Why do you want to teach:
I think that mathematics education is so important in our world today. Not only is it the actual solving of the problems, but it is also the different way of thinking that is required that will propel students into a successful future. The abstract understanding, the problem solving, and the analytic skills are important in all walks of life, especially outside of the classroom. I want to help students see the value in math, I want to take this highly stigmatized subject and break it down for students so that they can realize the value whether their goals are to be a doctor, chef, or parent. I want to make a difference for my students. I want to be able to inspire students to realize that math is important. It may be a difficult subject, but it doesn’t have to be their least favorite. I want to inspire, I want to help and I want to teach a subject that I love.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I was tutoring a third grade girl in my neighborhood in math. We met for one hour, once a week, and each time going over a different topic. One particular day we were going over how to turn fractions into whole numbers. I was trying this one method that I had learned and understood when I was in school, but it wasn’t clicking with her. I switched to another way of explanation, and all of a sudden her eyes lit up! It was more than just that one moment and that one skill. This moment made me realize that not everyone learns the same way, and as a teacher it will be my role to make sure everyone understands, no matter how many different ways I need to explain a topic. This moment also made me realize the power of understanding. I saw her face and her whole attitude switch from frustration to a new found confidence. I aim to instill that same confidence in my students in the future and to help them understand concepts in the way that they can learn the best.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has given me invaluable opportunities throughout the past two years. To begin, it has given me the opportunity to stay another year at Stonehill College to continue my education. Last year I had the privilege of attending the NCTM conference in New Orleans and the Noyce conference in Philadelphia. Additionally, I was an organizer of a mathematics after-school program for elementary students where we created mathematical experiences and challenges for students to better develop their mathematical and problem solving abilities. Each of these opportunities, provided to me through the Noyce program, has given me the chance to better my education, to learn more about my field and aided in my professional development. Additionally, the Noyce program has grown my interest in aspects of education that I hadn’t previously considered, particularly working in high needs districts, and exploring different master’s programs. Ultimately, the Noyce program has given me an opportunity to grow as a student and a professional and allowed me to help others grow as well.