Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Managemen Science
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Algebra 1 9th grade
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
San Diego State University
Current academic or teaching status:
2 years teaching expereince
School and school district:
Helix Charter High School
After graduating with a bachelors of science from UCSD in 2007 I worked with young adults coaching the boys rowing team at the San Diego Rowing Club and tutoring at Helix Charter High School. I found this work to be incredibly rewarding and pursued at teaching credential in single subject math instruction at San Diego State University. In august 2010 I was hired at Helix High School to teach math and for the last two years I have been teaching 9th grade college prep algebra 1.
Why do you want to teach:
Quick Story: In 2007 I was applying for a financial consulting position and studying for my series 7 license to sell equity portfolios. Part of the interview was a personality profile exam. The interviewer told I was not hired for the consulting position because of my scores on the personality profile. She told me that the exam concluded that I am highly motivated by the “purpose” of my work and that this trait was not compatible with a career in finance. The exam went on to recommend that I pursue a career in the military, education or medical fields. It wasn’t until 2009 when I coached four rowers to a second place finish at the junior rowing national championship and helped them earn rowing scholarships that I appreciated the accuracy of that personality profile. The feeling of satisfaction and sense of purpose I got from using what I have learned to help young people make their lives better and feel better about themselves has motivated me since then to pursue a career in teaching. Working as an academic coach at Helix High school allowed me to continue that sense of satisfaction in my work as I helped students pass their math and science courses. Sharing my knowledge to help young people is what I want to devote my life to. The school I work at predominantly serves students with low socio economic backgrounds. I know and have seen that my hard work can produce confident learners that can use education to make their lives better. I cannot think of anything more rewarding.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Last year I was struggling with a student who seemed very unmotivated. He rarely completed assignments and struggled with the material. I made a conscious effort to focus on this particular student and by the end of the year he earned an A in my class. At the end of the year he wrote me note saying that he worked hard this year because he “knew I wouldn’t give up on him.” This stands out in my mind because much of my effort as an instructor is put into lesson design. It reminded me that for this particular student thoughtful well designed lessons while necessary may not have been sufficient. I was reminded that persistence and patience are also required to give some students the confidence cope with tough material.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
In one word the Noyce Fellowship has meant help. In my first two years of teaching I have felt more often than I would like to admit that the way I am teaching Algebra could and should be better. I am really looking forward to the time spent in this fellowship as an opportunity to improve my skill. I have tremendous respect for the researchers running my fellowship as they were my professors in the teaching credential program at San Diego State. In my first two years of teaching I have learned that this profession cannot be mastered individually and that seeking outside help is how you improve your skill quickly.