Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S. Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Science, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Georgia State University
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Morrow High School
I am full fledged southern belle who was born and raised in Georgia, and am very close to my small, tight-knit family. I love to cook, and have begun to dabble in gardening so I can have my own fresh ingredients. I developed a passion for science when I started college at Mercer University where I was given the opportunity to do genetics research. Through this lab I was able to present my research at an international and regional convention. I transferred to Georgia State University in the fall of 2009, and discovered my knack for teaching during my internship in Atlanta Public Schools through the F.O.C.U.S. program. I look forward to doing my practicum at Morrow High School in the Clayton County School system because I grew up in these schools, and I am excited to get back to my old stomping ground!
Why do you want to teach:
I transferred to Georgia State in the fall of 2009, and being new to the Panther community, I felt a little out of place. As a result, I became close with one of my science teachers who suggested that I participate in the Fostering Our Community’s Understanding of Science (F.O.C.U.S.) program to fulfill the requirements to graduate that I had lost by transferring schools and to meet more science students who had many of the same interests I did. The F.O.C.U.S. program gave me the opportunity to participate in a community-based service learning project where I taught hands-on science labs to provide positive changes in how younger students approach science. I worked with Atlanta Public School seventh graders who were learning Life Science topics that were both my major and my passion. I began to notice that I was excited every week to go into the classroom because I was helping change how my students viewed science. My lessons with them involved taking what they were lectured on that week and turning it into an interactive and stimulating activity. Making my students want to learn more about science gave me feelings of satisfaction and happiness knowing that I may have inspired a student to pursue science the same way I was inspired during my years in school. After this program, I decided to apply to the M.A.T. program in Science Education to fulfill my passion for teaching!
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My most memorable teaching experience was at Coan Middle School. I was teaching the students about the circulatory system and how blood vessels travel to deliver oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. The students were having a hard time understanding the flow of a blood vessel, so the next day in class I had turned the whole classroom into a human body. The students were to pretend like they were a blood vessel traveling from the different parts of the heart, to the muscles, and to the lungs to complete the cycle of one blood vessel. I turned the activity into a relay game, and the students were really engaged. They were working together to help their fellow team mates travel through the circulatory system. Even the vice principal got involved by joining one of the teams and racing around the classroom! This event was so memorable to me because it allowed the students to see and interact with a concept that is abstract. I also loved the activity because every student was out of their seat participating and being engaged in science.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has given me the opportunity to pursue my aspirations of becoming a teacher. While this may sound cliche, I really do mean it. Without this program I wouldn’t have the financial means to go to graduate school, and would be stuck in a dead-end job that I hated, just trying to get by. It is such a blessing to know that I can further my education so I will be able to inspire inquisitiveness in my students like so many of my professors have done for me. The Noyce program has also provided me with many mentors who have and will be able to give me advice when the going gets tough in my classroom. Without this type of collaboration, I believe I wouldn’t be as successful of a teacher because I would be missing out on all the experience and techniques they have learned over the years. The Noyce program not only gives me the means to my end, but also a well-balanced group of mentors to guide me along my path.