Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Secondary Biology Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Secondary Biology
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Urban Teacher Education Program
Current academic or teaching status:
Second year graduate school
School and school district:
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2008 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. The nearest I have come to a true teaching experience prior to UTEP was during my senior college year as a coordinator for the Biology Colloquium, a class for undergraduates aimed at exploring biology careers. This experience taught me that I truly enjoy the creative and cognitive challenges that come with teaching. I have also had positive experiences working with children in an urban setting, namely the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. UTEP was a big change for me, but as the program progresses I am convinced more and more that it is the best decision I have ever made. Teaching is both challenging, but also incredibly satisfying and inspirational.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach because an excellent education is in many ways the only way to climb out of poverty. When the cycle is broken for one student, he is empowered to return to his community with the skills and know-how to help others. I also appreciate the value of an education in helping to enrich life in less tangible ways. Those who are given something to think about and taught to think deeply and who have their curiosity sparked can find deep satisfaction and happiness in continuing to learn, and in exploring their talents and interests.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My most memorable teaching experience was as co-teacher of a summer camp for eight high-school boys. For the first time since beginning the program, I was able to implement classroom theories about backwards design and teaching in informal settings effectively. I was immediately struck by how pleased and surprised the students were when they realized that we were going to entrust them with expensive tools and actually ask them to collect data and devise their own procedures and experiments. One student actually stated, “Oh, I thought the LabQuest wasn’t a real thing! You mean we actually get to use it!?” I was also able to connect with my students on a personal level, and began to truly understand how a caring but also high expectations class environment can lead to student motivation in learning.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Program will provide me with financial resources so that I can truly focus on learning and practicing to be my personal best as a classroom teacher. I will work my hardest to fulfill the expectations and requirements of this program and welcome any questions program representatives may have.