Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: High School Biology
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Current academic or teaching status:
Post-bacc year, earning initial license
School and school district:
Apprentice at Taunton High School, Taunton MA
I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in a high need urban city. I generally never thought of my family as poor growing up until middle school when my parents divorced and I started living with my mother and three brothers and money became much tighter. Both my school and home life drastically changed for the worse over the course of middle and high school due to financial strains and my mother becoming fairly unstable from depression and alcoholism. Also, by middle school I had started to realize that I was gay and struggled to hide it from both myself and everyone around me. By the end of high school, life at home and school had become miserable and I decided to unofficially move in with my aunt and cousins to get away from all the dysfunction so I could continue to do well in school, and although I didn’t realize it at first, I moved to live in an environment where I felt okay to be myself. After high school I went to UMASS Dartmouth where I majored in biology and decided to become a teacher.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to teach for a few reasons. The simplest being that I have always enjoyed the feeling of bringing someone to a point where they understand something that they didn’t before. I was always the tutor in my group of friends and enjoyed whenever I got a chance to help someone out with schoolwork. Another reason being that I have always held education in a very high place. This is mostly because I grew up in a family with three brothers who all were very good athletes while I excelled in school. A deeper reason that I have recently realized as being a cause for my desire to teach is that school was always a more stable place for me growing up than home was.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I do not have many teaching experiences still being an apprentice completing my observations, however, I have spent the past few summers in teaching capacities at educational summer programs. My favorite teaching experience from last summer was when I was placed in a week long program with a veteran teacher about Fresh Water Wetlands. Being a biology major I knew some general facts about that environment but felt that I surely did not know enough to teach the program myself. Not so surprisingly that is just what I had to do. The veteran educator had half planned the week of courses and expected me to handle the rest. The fact that I didn’t break down and actually threw together a good program for the group of students somewhat impressed myself an made the idea of teaching a bunch of students for a whole year seem like a much more approachable task.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Program has simply meant to opportunity to become a teacher. Coming from a low-income family, the prospect of going to graduate school seemed like an awfully expensive idea. But thanks to the Noyce Program I’ve been able to start on my way to becoming a teacher.