Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Life and Earth Science, grades 7-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Hendrix College (N-STEAD)
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Growing up, I’ve always had a love of learning. The reason I attended a liberal arts college is because I wanted exposure to a wide variety of subjects and academic disciplines. In addition to my biology major, I have taken courses in philosophy, anthropology, politics, and theater. However, I’ve always had a fascination with science. When I was a kid, my parents gave me a book called the Giant Book of Questions and Answers. It had all sorts of fascinating facts from several disciplines, but I always spent the most time in the science section. The appeal of science stems from the tangible understanding that it provides for the natural world around us.
Why do you want to teach:
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to attend good schools with inspiring teachers. Not everyone has that opportunity, and that is unjust. I want to teach because teaching is a way for me to use creativity to help others and work towards social justice.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
When I was co-teaching a lesson about the cause of the seasons at Cloverdale Middle School, I had one student who started to ask a question, but then abruptly stopped. I asked him what his question was, but he responded that he didn’t want to look “stupid.” I paused the lesson and explained that there were no stupid questions and that we were all a team. He looked relieved and continued to ask questions throughout the rest of the class period.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
As a traditional licensure program designed to put highly qualified teachers in high-need schools, the Hendrix N-STEAD (Noyce – STEM Teacher Education in the Arkansas Delta) program is a way to combat social stratification. Throughout our country, there is a pervasive and destructive belief that minorities and students of low socioeconomic status cannot overcome adversity. This has resulted in unnecessary shortages of funding and properly credentialed teachers in our highest-need schools. For me, N-STEAD is a rejection of this belief. It is a step towards creating equality in our education system, and it is a way for me to give back to the state I claim as home by helping to close the achievement gap.