Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
12 years teaching
School and school district:
Arapahoe High School, Arapahoe Public School
I am originally from Holbrook, NE. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and my master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have been teaching for 12 years and am currently at Arapahoe High School. I enjoy being a coach.
Why do you want to teach:
I love helping people. I once heard that mathematics holds the keys to a student’s future. I want everyone to have access to these keys.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Recently, a group of individuals were concerned about the amount the swimming pool leaked. When they shut down the pool at night, by morning the water would be one inch lower. This group was concerned that a significant amount of water was being wasted, since water is no longer free. I broke my mathematics class into teams, took the students down to the swimming pool with several tape measures, and asked them the same question. The math discussions that followed for the two days we worked on the problem, both at the pool and in the classroom, were amazing to hear. It was like watching a forest fire build. Even their parents and friends were jumping in on the conversation. I was hearing mathematical arguments being thrown in every direction. All I had to do was orchestrate the beginning and the end. I need these experiences to occur every day in every class, and that is why I am here. I want to make this happen all the time rather than once in a while.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I am a teacher of limited means with a huge desire to transform myself into the best educator I can possibly be. I have found that teaching and observing others is the best way to improve one’s own abilities in math education. This program will give me more opportunities to do this. I have also found that throwing myself in front of educated adults who ask the hard questions can bring my mind into focus on the issues of mathematics education. I see myself leading these discussions at a local/area level and participating in them at a state and national level. Over the next five years, I see myself leading math educators in the state toward effective uses of technology in their classrooms. Every day, I am improving my practice with technology that will continue whether I am in the Noyce program or not. What this progra would give me are collaborators, focus, and the chance to teach what I learn. Working with other educators across the state will help shape my learning in much more dynamic ways. Having the opportunity to teach other educators will cement any new knowledge that is formed.