Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Grades 5-12 Math
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Minnesota
Current academic or teaching status:
Second year teacher
School and school district:
South High School, Minneapolis MN
I completed my B.A. in 2000 at Western Michigan University. I moved to Minneapolis to experience life in a bigger, more culturally diverse city. I spent 8 years traveling to different countries as much as possible, working as a waitress and personal trainer, and studying, competing, and teaching martial arts. In 2008, I decided to get my teaching license through the master’s program at the U of M. I love Minneapolis and the people here. I really feel like part of the community as a teacher at my current school.
Why do you want to teach:
I enjoy connecting with students and families from my own community. We live in the same neighborhoods, but don’t necessarily know or understand each other. Working with students and families in a public school is a chance to bring us together, to learn from one another, and to grow as a community. I love making connections with students who are struggling with math, or with school, or with adults or people in general.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Most recently, I was able to connect with a student who was considered a “behavior problem”. I gave him some quiet, positive attention. He calmed down and has asked for my help every day since. This has been a recurring theme for me and for my students. I have particularly focused on African American males in my schools. According to data and personal experience, many of our African American boys are being sent out of the classroom because of disruptive behavior. My personal solution has been to develop trusting, friendly, and academically focused relationships with these students. When I see students able to use respectful language to ask for specific attention (on their math work, for example), rather than seek attention in “inappropriate” ways, I am encouraged and satisfied.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has been an opportunity to really focus on my professional development and reflect upon my commitment to students in high needs schools.