Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, Chemistry, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Wake Forest University
Current academic or teaching status:
First-year Master's Student
School and school district:
East Forsyth High School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
I choose mathematics as my undergraduate major because I have always loved math and known that I wanted to do something in the field. While in college, my ability to understand my peers’ thought processes and help them accordingly became more apparent, and I was encouraged by my professors to consider teaching as a profession. I choose to continue studying mathematics because I felt it would be beneficial to me to have as deep of an understanding of the subject as I could when I eventually pursued teaching.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach because I love mathematics and love sharing it with others. In addition to my passion for math, I have a passion to positively impact those around me, especially youth. Teaching allows me to combine my gifts and passions for the benefit of others.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
While teaching a week of review sessions in a Tech Math class, I encountered a student who would correctly answer every question presented to the class and most likely should have been in a higher level class. However, he would refuse to complete the review sheets the students were expected to complete during the remaining time of that class period. On the second day of observing this behavior, I approached this student to see if I could find out why he was refusing to complete the assignment when he was clearly capable of doing so. When I asked him why he wasn’t doing the assignment, he said that he didn’t care, and the assignment didn’t matter. I then tried to approach the situation by letting him know that I cared about his success, and he couldn’t succeed in this class if he wasn’t completing his work. He then told me that none of it mattered because soon he was going to be old enough to drop out of school, and he could just get his GED. At that point, I didn’t know what else I could say except that I knew he was capable of succeeding in school, and it would mean a lot to me if he would stick with it. Unfortunately, I do not know what eventually happened to this student. This experience stands out because it reminds me of how important it is to connect with my students and make sure that they understand that I care about their success even if no one else they know does. It also reminds me that there are bright students out there dropping out of school because they simply do not see the benefits a complete education can provide them.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has provided me with the opportunity to learn about teaching from some amazing experts in a program that is clearly designed to produce great teachers. What I have learned from these experts makes me feel more prepared and excited about entering the classroom than I ever thought possible. The Noyce program has allowed me to develop into the teacher I want to be in a very supportive and proven program at Wake Forest.