Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Curriculum and Instruction
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 7-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Current academic or teaching status:
20 years teaching
School and school district:
Superior Jr.-Sr. High School, Superior, NE
I received my education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). I have been teaching for 20 years and am currently teaching at Superior Jr.-Sr. High School in Superior, Nebraska.
Why do you want to teach:
When I entered UNL as an undergraduate, I was unsure about what I wanted to do. During my sophomore year I had a practicum; I became certain that being in the classroom with students was the perfect fit for me. I was very fortunate to begin teaching at a very small school that was filled with academically driven students and staff. The K-6 teachers put a heavy emphasis on math, and my students arrived to seventh grade extremely well prepared. I was afforded the luxury of having all of the 7-12 students every year. This allowed me to know my student’s strengths and weaknesses extremely well, and I was able to adjust the curriculum each year to fit their needs. My administrator encouraged me to attend a variety of math workshops and conferences, and the climate there taught me to have high expectations.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
One of my most memorable teaching experiences was when I did the Fibonacci “rabbit problem” with some seventh graders. Over half of the students qualified for special education. I was very concerned that some of them would not be able to solve the problem. I had the students work in pairs. To my surprise, everyone did very well and seemed to really enjoy the problem. The partners in the pairs really supported and listened to each other. I had special education students being leaders. The experience showed me that all students can appreciate and solve a really neat math problem.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
One of the benefits of the Master Teaching Fellowships Program could be collaboration with Educational Service Unit 9 in Hastings. This service unit covers a rural clientele. They have many people who are experts, especially in the areas of reading, language, and technology. As far as I know, they do not currently have a full-time employee who specializes in secondary mathematics. Students are the exciting part of teaching. I think being with kids keeps everything in perspective. My dream would be to keep my regular teaching job and work for the service unit one or two days a month during the school year and steadily throughout the summer. I want to share what I have learned with other teachers, and I want to learn from them.