Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Science Education in Physics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: 10th grade Integrated Physics and Chemistry
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Arizona
Current academic or teaching status:
3rd year teaching at a High School
School and school district:
Del Valle High School
I was born in Torrance, California and grew up in Kingman, Arizona. I attended the University of Arizona from 2004-2008 originally as an Astronomy and Physics major. After taking a single teaching course, I realized my passion. I changed my major to Science Education with a focus in Physics and never looked back. While in university I studied abroad for a summer and traveled all over Southern Europe and realized that I would want to live there some day. After graduating, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and taught 9th grade Physics at Pinnacle High School of the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Not wanting to settle down just yet, I figured the only chance I had to move abroad was now after my first year teaching. I took a month long ESL teaching course in Prague, Czech Republic and received my CELTA certificate endorsed by the University of Cambridge. I taught English to adults in Prague for one year. I met my husband there and just recently moved back to the US in Austin, Tx where we just recently got married. I currently work at Del Valle High School and love it!
Why do you want to teach:
My father and grandfather were teachers so my family were always respecting the education profession. After taking my teaching course, I knew it was the right thing for me. I love sharing experiences and new ideas to students and seeing the light bulb dawn on their faces when they make a realization. We always have something new everyday and not many professions can say that. We are performers everyday!
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
There’s been quite a few but this experience is what comes to mind right now. Last year I started working at a very high needs school in Austin and was pretty intimidated by the students that went there. It’s known for the gang problems they’ve had in the past and there’s been a real clean up at the school the past couple of years. Of course, the first week of school some kids try to test you, and my week was no different. A group of kids that always wore purple shirts on the same day (clear sign of a gang) were in my class and they always talked back and had issues taking directions from a woman. He showed so much disrespect, I had no idea how to deal with him. We had a couple of meetings about his progress in school, because he would show moments of brilliance, and the rest of the time he didn’t do anything, literally. After one ridiculous day, I held him after class and had a heart to heart with him and yelled at him quite a bit and gave him a chance to explain himself- his goals, his dreams, his reality. He rolled his eyes, said that he was just going to drop out anyway and walked off leaving me thinking that I had just wasted my time. The change didn’t happen right away, but within the month I saw more progress on his work. He actually TRIED! He asked questions! He stopped giving me dirty looks every time I spoke to him! It was an amazing transformation and I never thought that would happen. He turned into a respectful gentleman and I have no idea if I had anything to do with it, but it meant a lot to me because another student was potentially prevented from quitting.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has given me some amazing experiences and opportunities that I never thought would have been possible. Attending the 2011 Western Regional Noyce Conference was inspiring and helped me get through a difficult year. Noyce has provided a network for me to connect with other teachers with the similar experiences and given us a chance to share ideas, stories, and memories. I just attended the NASA Noyce summer institute and that was yet another opportunity to meet, share, and discover new resources. I never thought these kind of opportunities were available to teachers. What a great surprise!