Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Math 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Central High School, Omaha Public Schools
I am from Omaha, NE. I received my bachelor’s degree from Doane College and my master’s from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have been teaching for 14 years and am currently teaching at Central High School in Omaha. I enjoy reading, cooking, golf, bicycling, spending time with my family, math, and learning.
Why do you want to teach:
I teach for many reasons. It all begins from my love for math and my desire to share that. I have a passion for working with kids and feel like I have become very effective with it. Over the years I have found what keeps me teaching is that it allows me to learn all of the time. As each year goes by, I find new techniques and ideas not only keep me “fresh” as a teacher but also keep me energized in my desire to continue to teach.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Over the course of the past 14 years, I have spent 13 of them in what would be classified as high-need schools. The majority of time spend at these schools has included working as a Math team sponsor. While working in these schools I have found that there is a need for continued staff development, peer leadership, and updating of instructional best practices. Working in high-need schools takes a variety of skills. While the greatest emphasis is managing the very diverse needs of students who come from varied backgrounds, I have found that good teaching practices get set aside in the name of discipline. Two specific examples come to mind from my teaching experiences: Math 8 at McMillan Magnet Center and Geometry at Central High. Both courses are ones that every “regular” student must take as they move through their time at the schools. However, when working with students who come lacking so many basics skills ranging from the ability to do grade level computation to knowing how to act in a classroom so that they can learn, many teachers feel it is necessary to abandon innovative teaching methods in the name of classroom management. I hope that as I work through the program, I can learn new ways to help students “learn how to learn,” and then share these techniques with my coworkers these techniques so that every student has the opportunity to pursue higher level learning.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I have a passion for mathematics and mathematics education. I want this fellowship to be an avenue for me to continue my growth as both an educator and mathematician. At the end of the five years, it is my desire to have learned and grown more both professionally and personally. At different times my goal for a doctoral degree has varied between mathematics and education. After exploring different options, I have come to the conclusion that the education degree is one that can be achieved with all of the other commitments in my personal and professional life. The attainment of a doctoral degree in education will allow me to expand my role outside of the classroom to training pre-service teachers at the post-secondary level. I also want to continue to grow the program I am developing here at Central High that yearly attracts some of the best math students in Omaha. I believe the Noyce Program will enable me to continue my current achievements as well as move me forward in my academic goals.