Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: MAT Secondary Mathematics Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Georgia State University/Urban Mathematics Education Program
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Cross Keys High School, Dekalb County; Currently at GRN Residentials Community Service Board, DeKalb County
I came to the United States in 1992 from Vietnam. I attended Georgia State University to pursue my Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Actuarial Science. I worked in the insurance industry with AIG for two years and went back to school to obtain my MAT in Secondary Mathematics.
Why do you want to teach:
I have loved math since a very young age. I was always around education since both my parents were math and physics teachers when we lived in Vietnam. I had a chance to observe them when they tutored students at our home as well as in school. I think this experience had given me an ability to convey concepts to others in ways that they can “catch on” easily, depending on who they are.
Since math is viewed as such a “scary” subject, I want to utilize my above-mentioned ability to help students
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I am currently teaching in a crisis stabilization center in Decatur, Ga. I teach at least 2 students daily using the hospital home-bound method (one-on-one). The students range from 14 to 17 years of age. The majority of them are high-school age with the exception of some students with disabilities or those who have dropped out of school. Every day is a new journey for me seeing how they go through so much in life, but still have such hunger to learn. I am very happy with my career seeing what a difference I make on these students and how the one-on-one learning transforms students’ perspective on mathematics, that they CAN do math.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
If it hadn’t been for the Noyce program, I would still be stuck in a job that I did not care much for. The program provided an opportunity to realize my career that I love more and more every day. The extra training and following up such as Second Life meetings to discuss and share topics on teaching or attending the conferences help me feel supported and wanting to stay in the profession.