Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Science Education - Physics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Physics, grades 9 - 12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Arizona
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
None as yet
I am a 45-year-old man who did not graduate from high school. I’ve done many things to make a living, with the bulk of my work experience in manufacturing, i.e. factory/production. I have always had an aptitude for mathematics and the sciences, but lacked an environment to nurture and support my interests. A few years ago, I made the decision to rewrite my badly scripted life and go back to school to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering. In the summer of 2010 I decided to change my major to Science Education, and here I am.
Why do you want to teach:
First and foremost would be because I seem to have a knack for it. I say this not because I think so, but because this is what others have told me. I am good at breaking complex ideas down (that I have a good understanding of) in a way that makes them accessible to others that may have difficulty with them. I’ve had my share of teachers/professors who are very knowledgeable about the subject matter, but who seem to lack this skill. A second reason is because I want to make a positive contribution and be of service to others who may benefit from my abilities.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
A neighbor recently came to me for help with the college algebra class he was taking. The dreaded “Word Problems” were the bane of his existence. I remembered the difficulty I had with word problems and how I overcame it. I explained the process I use and worked many problems with him, not as a teacher but as a peer, explaining my thinking and approach at every step. In the end, I tutored him for the last 4 weeks of his class. He was able to bring his D up to a B and pass the class. The main reason this stands out for me is that up to that point I had much doubt about my abilities and the path I was pursuing. When the final grades were posted, he came to me to let me know how grateful he was for my help and that he didn’t think he could have done it without me. He then told me how lucky my students will be to have me as a teacher. That’s when I knew for sure that I was on the right path.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
For me, it means that I will be able to turn my dream into a reality without the financial burden that usually comes with attending a University. It means that I will be presented with opportunities to hone my craft before graduation. I don’t know that I could be doing what I am doing if not for the Noyce program. I’m a pretty lucky guy!