Noyce Scholar Profile
Miguelina Rosa Lopez
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Geology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: 5-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
South Bronx Preparatory
My name is Miguelina Rosa Lopez. I came to the U.S from the Dominican Republic six years ago. I completed all my initial education requirements back in my country, including the first year of high school; therefore, when I came to America, I was place in the 10th
My experiences as a learner can be best described as a see-saw of up’s and down’s. When I came to this country I did not speak English; this situation made my leaning process very
complicated. I was placed in a high school that educated over 3000 students.
I started classes as a first level ESL student and I graduated from high school as ESL student at the sixth level. I had to struggle a lot with my education development throughout those years.
Back in my native country I was a shining star. I was number one in all my classes. I was the president of various societies and clubs. I directed publicity and promotion in various TV
channels to increase funding for the schools in my distinct. And, I even met the president of the country twice. Then, I came to this country when I was 15 years old and I had to go thought a long period of adaptations and assimilation. I had to see myself go from a star to a shadow, which was not an essay situation to face.
The first year of school in the U.S was extremely difficult; I struggled
in all my English classes. Nonetheless, I did very well in the science and math
courses. Although, I was a newcomer I managed to save the first semester with
an 87 average. As I learned more about the language, my grades started to be better and better. I went into the 90’s after the first year. Additionally, after two years, I recited a speech at my
graduation when I was nominated the valedictorian of the 2006 class. My up’s
and down’s in high school really shaped me as a learner, but also as a future
educator. The experiences I lived as a high school student completely changed
my perception of the learning and teaching process.
Why do you want to teach:
My high school teachers had such a
great influence in my education and the way I view the environment around it.
This is one of the reasons why decided to become a teacher. The best teachers I ever had were my high school teachers. My high school was considered one of the worse high schools in the Bronx; yet, my teachers were the best teachers ever. Out of all my teachers, I remember Mrs. Rivera very well. She was the Spanish teacher, Assistant Principal, and also director of the ESL Program. She was charismatic, positive, and amicable, but she was also serious,punctual, and dedicated. She cared for her students and she always made sure we were engaged in the learning process. She was an excellent teacher and she was
great on her content area. We really
enjoyed the class, not because we were all Spanish native speakers, but because
she made the class fun, interesting, and innovating.
I loved listening to stories like “El Lasarillo” or “La Casa de Bernada Alba.” She encouraged us to do well, to fight for our goals, and to be good students. Whenever one of us had an issue she took the time to sit down with us and find solutions. I was an ESL student, a newcomer,and a stranger to the U.S school system; Mrs. Rivera made sure I felt like I
belong since the beginning. She impacted my personality a lot. She showed me
that it is possible to succeed even when there are barriers limiting our path
to success, like my language barrier for example. She believed in us and she also encouraged us to believe in ourselves. She pushed us to struggle, and to fight to turn our dreams into realities. She showed me how to be more positive and persistent when I am facing a very difficult challenge or situation.
This is the kind of teacher I want to become. I want to make sure my students are academically ready to move on to the next level of education. I want to ensure myself they are able to use the knowledge I am teaching them and apply it to their every day lives and their critical thinking skills. My student will know that if I made it, so can they. I want them to understand science, but also to be to be passionate about their goals and dreams, to work hard to achieve those goals. They will know that it is OK to reach out for proper help when needed, and also to better them everyday.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Obtaining a higher education has been, so far, one of my best accomplishments. But that does not mean that the journey has been easy in any kind of way. As I mentioned before, I was an ESL student in high school; I learned translation, but not composition. When I
started college, I struggled a lot with the history and English classes. But
just as it happened in high school, I was doing excellent in my science and
math courses. I was the only freshman in my block taking advance calculus. After
that first semester I knew that I could do it. As I progressed over the years, so did my ability to do better. Now I manage to maintain a 3.5 GPA
I am very proud of my accomplishments, but I will always remember my struggles. I believe those experiences are the ones who will empower me as an educator. I am perusing a BA
in science education because I believe that I can tell my kids, “Yes you can do
it!” “If I did it, so can you”; also because I do well in science, so that is
definitely a plus. I will obtain my M.S.Ed with a bilingual extension. I want
to teach my ESL students that science is a universal language. When I fell in
love with Earth Science, I did not know English. I was just enchanted by the
beautiful colors of the minerals and the prefect crystals of the rocks I found
at The Museum of Natural History. My desire to learn more about the Earth led me
to become an Earth Science educator; I hope to inspire my students to love the
Earth as much as I do. At the end of the
day teaching is just another way of learning. I remember, Mr. Melecio (ESL,
Earth Science Teacher) coming into the classroom with a smile on his face. He
would place a set of wavy bangle bracelet on the table to give a lesson about
Seismic Waves. He would teach in English, but his knowledge of Spanish was
always a good resource if we did not understand a concept or a particular word.
One day I want to be a “MR. Melecio” for my kids.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has been such a
great access for me. This program has provided me with the tools and skills
necessary to become an excellent educator.
I am learning excellent teaching strategies from the teachers I am
observing, and at the same time I am building my leadership skills. This
program has introduced me to a network of excellent administrators and teachers
from whom I hope to learn the best teaching techniques that the department of
education has to offer.