Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Florida State University
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Rickards High School, Leon County Schools
I grew up in a small town and school district in Southwest Florida. It was largely a middle to lower-middle class community that was family-centered. I went to a Catholic school from Kindergarten to third grade, then attended public schools through college, where I am currently enrolled at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Growing up, I played basketball, soccer, was in concert band and later marching band, and participated and competed with the brain bowl team and Mu Alpha Theta. My family and my values shaped who I am today, and both are very important to me.
Why do you want to teach:
My mother taught biology for a few years before I was born, but talked about it often while I was growing up. I was also blessed to have great teachers throughout grade school and on into middle and high school who inspired me and made me want to teach. After taking Calculus in my senior year of high school with only 12 students in the class, I decided I definitely wanted to teach high school mathematics so I could help students understand and like math as much as I do. That way, fewer students would be intimidated by math and could go on to achieve more in high school, college, and life in general.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
When I taught 4th grade for one of my classes at Florida State, I used a lesson on circuits that allowed students to create their own electrical circuits. They discovered what makes a circuit by making a light bulb light up. The students had not been introduced to circuits before my lesson, but at the end of it, they were able to look at 12 pictures of circuits and choose which one would make a light bulb light and which would not. The students thanked my teaching partner and me for helping them learn so much about circuits and remembered it when we came back a month later to teach about simple machines. I was so impressed with their understanding, retention, and their desire to learn. I will remember it for the rest of my life, especially in the times when I feel downhearted or that my students don’t want to learn.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has prepared me for teaching both financially and pedagogically. The meetings and events that we attend, combined with the readings we are provided, have helped me better understand the issues I will face in high-needs schools. The Noyce program has also helped place me in a high-needs school for my teaching internship, further preparing me for teaching in this type of school after I graduate.