Noyce Scholar Profile
Joye Beth Spinks
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology, Science and Math Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Science and Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Western Kentucky University
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Experience in Warren Co Public Schools-Cumberland Trace Elem School, Drakes Creek Middle School, and Bowling Green, KY
I am a senior at WKU working toward certification in Secondary Biology. I am a student in the SKyTeach program, which is geared toward preparing future math and science teachers to become proficient in inquiry-based learning. I have had the opportunity to teach in several schools in the Bowling Green, KY area in many different grade levels. Through SKyTeach, I have also had the opportunity to intern at the Barren River Imaginative Museum of Science, which allows kids to discover concepts about science in fun and interactive ways that may not be available at their school. Through the Noyce Program, I attended the 2010 NSTA Regional Conference and presented a session with a fellow Noyce scholar as well as one of our mentors. The three of us will also be attending and presenting at the National NSTA Conference this Spring.
Why do you want to teach:
I didn’t always want to be a teacher. I gave the SKyTeach program a try because I would be in the classroom teaching my very first semester, and would know whether or not teaching was something I could see myself doing. After just the first lesson, I was certain that teaching was the job for me. I love that teaching is challenging, yet rewarding. I love that education is an ever-evolving field, and thereby always exciting and new. Most of all, I love the feeling that you get when students grasp a concept for the first time, and that’s not a feeling that I want to let go of for a very long time.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
In my first time teaching a lesson in a high school Biology class, we conducted a lesson about Biomes. It went very well. It will always stick with me as my first lesson in the area and grade in which I want to teach. What was most memorable for me actually occurred after the lesson. My partner and I had to conduct interviews with the students we taught to get feedback about our first lesson. When asked what could be improved about our first lesson, the students answered that they would have liked if we had another day to go more in depth into the concept. Not only did the students enjoy our lesson, but they wanted to learn more, which was a great feeling.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I have learned so much about teaching that I may have not learned in the classroom. I also have had the opportunity to go to conferences in my field, which I know is something that I would not have been able to do otherwise. I feel that the Noyce program has made me more knowledgeable and more marketable as a teacher. I can’t wait to see what my future as a Noyce scholar has in store for me!