Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Math Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Math Coach, grades 6-8
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
26 years teaching
School and school district:
Culler Middle School, Lincoln Public Schools
I am from Lincoln, NE. I received my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have been teaching for 26 years and am currently at Culler Middle School in Lincoln. I am active in my church and the greater Lincoln Diocese. I coach my son’s basketball team and enjoy traveling. I am interested in learning to fly gliders.
Why do you want to teach:
America was founded on the idea of providing a free education for all people. I believe my mission is to make a high quality education accessible for all students regardless of S.E.S., race, or gender.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I enjoy working with students who historically have struggled in Mathematics class. There was a project we worked on involving the stock market and investments over the short term compared to the long term. One of my students wanted to work with me to develop a proposal to present to his parents as to why he should start a portfolio within the next year. I saw this student become empowered to look to a future not defined by me, parents, or anything other than his own vision.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
When have I known that I have provided a student with the tools needed to be a productive adult? What are the skills a student needs to cultivate in middle school in order to provide for optimum success as she or he proceeds through school? At this point in my career, I think I have more questions than answers. I am hoping the Noyce experience will help me better define the questions and set me on a path to find strategies to work toward solutions. Between 1984 to the present, there have been many changes in middle school education, from the notion that every student should be “successful” in spite of effort or true achievement to the development of “interdisciplinary” units, which were at best tenuously related to mathematics, but rather necessitated rote skills, to what I hope is a more authentic use of sound mathematical strategies to address authentic problems. Through my involvement in the Math in the Middle Program, I have the confidence to allow students to stretch their intellects in order to develop real achievement. To strive to provide students with tenacity, efficiency, and the confidence to reach beyond their comfort level should be the goal of all educators. It is certainly my goal. I am confident that my participation in the Robert Noyce NSF Master Teaching Fellowship program will provide opportunities for me to further enhance the experiences of students and teachers at Culler Middle School.