Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology, Chemistry, Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Science, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
Newly licensed teacher
School and school district:
Substitute teacher for Bethel School District, Eugene, OR
I began teaching in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 1992 in a couple of small credit-recovery classes in a private English-speaking school. A few years later, after completing a BA in science, I returned to live in the Dominican Republic and began teaching full-time. Over the next 10 years I added elementary, middle school, and high school sciences to my teaching repertoire. My husband, also a teacher, and I moved to Oregon in 2003. Knowing that we would not be able to teach without being licensed in Oregon, we both returned to school to study education, my husband in 2005 and I in 2009. We are both in the market now for teaching positions.
Why do you want to teach:
Why I want to teach is a mystery to me! I suppose I inherited the desire to educate from my mother. My first summer teaching jobs were really only a way to earn some extra cash. The vocation grew on me. I think what finally drew me in was an accumulation of those “Oh, I get it” moments from my students, interspersed with “Teacher I was reading about this last night.” Nothing beats those instances of sudden understanding and the spark of interest.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
During a life science unit with my third graders in the Dominican Republic, I introduced taxonomy within the animal kingdom. The next day one student, Jonathan, brought a pair of beetles he had found in his backyard. Over the next few weeks, Jonathan built up a collection of about 20 insects and used a local taxonomic guide to identify several of them. In my mind, the best moments of teaching are those that both ignite a student’s interest and provide her or him with the tools to learn independently.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Initially, Noyce simply meant having the money to continue in the teacher preparation program. Now, especially after having attended the Western Regional Noyce Conference in Santa Ana, I see that I have a whole community of educators from whom I can draw encouragement and knowledge. I’m so glad it’s more than just a scholarship!