Noyce Scholar Profile
Adrienne Gallegos Spina
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, Grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
California State Polytechnic Pomona Noyce Scholarship Program
Current academic or teaching status:
M.S. in Mathematics
School and school district:
Upland Unified School District
I am a Hispanic female, married, with four daughters ranging from the ages of 17 to 6 years. I obtained my MS in Mathematics in June 2009. I am a student teacher pursuing my teaching credential.
Why do you want to teach:
As a teacher, I have the opportunity to change the students’ attitudes about math. I would like nothing better than to motivate high school students, to teach them that math can be enjoyed and that the learning process can be a lot of fun. My dream is to change “math haters” into “math lovers,” even if it is one student at a time.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
During my first week solo as a student teacher, I had to review for a chapter test in Geometry. As I reviewed, I was able to clarify, justify, and apply theorems so the students would better understand the concepts. After grading the tests, I had one student look at his grade, then request to look at his grade again. I was a bit confused and reminded him that he had already seen it. His comment was that he thought he saw it incorrectly because it was a 90%, and he had never done so well before. He gave me a high five and smiled the rest of the class as he took notes. This stands out in my mind because I was able to see his confidence level rise and his attitude change to one of “I can do it.” It was a great day as I received many more high fives from students who did well on the test.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
I am so privileged to be a part of the Noyce Community. It is a community that has a wealth of information and a willingness to share that wealth. The Noyce program has been a large part of my growth as a pre-service teacher. Every Noyce seminar or workshop I have attended has provided me a new teaching tool for my tool belt. The seminars have exposed me to a variety of ways to present material versus the conventional way of teaching. It has also given me exposure to the real world, what is happening today in the classrooms and how to handle it. The program has better prepared me for “The Interview,” not only by helping me know what might be asked of me, but also what I should be asking the interviewer. By attending both the regional and national Noyce conferences I have been able to meet so many other scholars and benefited from sharing knowledge, ideas, and experiences. This information is so valuable and yet not as readily available in a credential class. The keynote speakers at every conference I have attended have been impactful, motivating, inspiring, and insightful. Given these opportunities to listen to the speeches, I have found myself trying to incorporate what I have learned from each one into my idea of what it means to be a good teacher. The Noyce program above all has made me feel like we, the scholars, are the best of the best and has given me the confidence and the tools to become a great math teacher.