Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Math/Math Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Math Grades 7-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Hofstra University/ Robert Noyce Scholarship Program
Current academic or teaching status:
Undergraduate: Senior, Class 2011
School and school district:
Amityville Middle School 7th, 8th Grade Special Education Classrooms (a high-need school), Lindenhurst Middle School/High School
I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics/Mathematics Education and currently have an overall GPA of 3.92. I am a member of Hofstra University’s Math Honor Society Pi Mu Epsilon and was distinguished Outstanding Sophomore Mathematics Student by the department. I have privately tutored for Math/Physics regents, SAT, Calculus II, and Calculus III. During the summer I also run a sailing program for children 7 years and older at the Amityville Beach.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to share my beautiful experience of education with others. It is too often that I ask students what their least favorite subject in school is and they say math. Some say “I just simply don’t get it” or “I’m not a math person” or “I’m just not smart enough”. Classrooms are filled with diverse students from different cultures with different interests. I do not expect, nor would I want every student to love mathematics above other subjects. The beauty of this country rests in its efforts to embrace the multi-faceted interests of all its citizens. Yet, there exists a misconception about math that I aim to address as a teacher. I believe that every student is capable of finding life in this subject, even if it is minimal, and thus not regard it as impossible to conceive. I would like to spread an appreciation for its study by making math education become real life for students, not just an exercise to prepare them for real life.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Aside from private tutoring and teaching lessons in my methods courses, I have yet to stand in front of a classroom and teach young students. Thus I would like to share a learning experience that stood out for me when I was young. In 4th grade, my teacher taught me self-confidence in less than five minutes. We as a class were going over math problems that we had for homework the night before. My teacher would call out the answer and ask us if we had any questions about that problem. I remember that there was a tough question and I was unsure about my answer. When my teacher got to this question his face turned very stern and he yelled across the room a number and like a tyrant, he said if anyone got that answer then that person should get up and wait for him outside in the hall. Well, when I looked down at my paper my face turned bright red because I realized that I had that answer. I was shaking as I went outside in the hall along with one other seemingly unlucky peer who had that answer. We both got really nervous as we heard our teacher stomping to the door. He came outside of the classroom and shut the door. Then, after a few seconds he had the widest smile on his face that I had ever seen. He started laughing and said that that was the right answer. He said never be afraid to say an answer even if you think it could be wrong. Then he gave us candy and told us to go back inside the classroom. One of my hopes when I begin teaching is that I could one day, in my own way, make an impression on my students the way my 4th grade teacher had done for me.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has helped me cultivate the skills necessary to teach in high-need school districts. It has provided workshops, which included speakers with experience in such schools, to help me prepare for what is to come when I begin teaching. The Noyce program has opened my mind to alternative teaching methods, necessary for the diverse pool of students in schools today, as well as, made me aware of the difficulties students face before stepping foot into a classroom and how that affects their capacity to learn. Overall, the Noyce program has cushioned me in my efforts to become as prepared as possible before I begin teaching in a classroom.