Noyce Scholar Profile
Paik Sung Tan
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: MAT Secondary Mathematics Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics Education, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Georgia State University/Urban Mathematics Education Program
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Practicum II: Arabia Mountain High School, DeKalb County School System; Currently at Carver, Atlanta Public School System
I am a Malaysian-born Chinese descendant, currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. I have a background in banking and design engineering. I received my undergraduate degree at University Science of Malaysia, and I have just completed my graduate degree at Georgia State University. I am currently teaching and loving my job.
Why do you want to teach:
I married and chose to live in the United States. In the process of starting a new life in the U.S., I decided that, since I am going to start all over, I want to do something that I really want and that will make a huge difference in the lives of others. Teaching is the one.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
About 10 weeks into my first-year teaching, I felt beaten down. I felt that my students were not learning, and that my classrooms were getting out of control. I cried in the middle of one class. My principal heard this from a student and called me into his office. He reaffirmed to me that I had done a tremendous job, and he told me that three parents had approached him during the PTSA meeting to say many good things about me. He gave me an option to move some students to another class. The next day, he made me a card with the message “Ms. Tan: A drop in your bucket to let you know your efforts, energy, and dedication to our children are much appreciated and it is making a difference. Several parents have reached out to me about the impact they believe you to be leaving on their children. There is no higher accolade.” I felt honored and recharged from this. I feel that it tells me I am on the right track, and that I need to persevere to continue making a difference in lives of others.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Being accepted into the Noyce program provided me with the initial confidence to be successful in my graduate program. Not only did it provide the financial support that I truly needed, it also provides me with professional support that is necessary to maintain being successful in my teaching career.