Mathematics, with a concentration in secondary teacher preparation
I tutored every level of math in high school and would often help my peers in class, but I didn’t get serious teaching experience until college. I was an undergraduate teaching assistant for the first time during my junior year in fall 2015 semester, and after that, I started pursuing a career in education. I changed the focus of my math major to teacher preparation and applied to the School of Education for the Master of Teacher program.
During April and May 2016, I was hired by Chesterfield County Public Schools to tutor and help students study for their geometry and algebra SOLs at Matoaca High School. I am currently have the privilege to be a TA for two sections of MATH 141 here at VCU, and am excited about my teaching career ahead.
Why do you want to teach?
It can take just one teacher to encourage a student’s math ability and largely improve their lasting confidence in learning the most dreaded and avoided subject in school. Whether I am teaching algebra, trigonometry or calculus, I aim to improve students’ understanding and appreciation for all the math they will encounter throughout their education. It is my duty, as a math-lover, to take this passion to those who need that unconditional push to succeed.
Please tell us about a memorable teaching experience and why it stands out in your mind.
My first experience as a TA is the most memorable so far. I took this role seriously, as I really wanted to see if teaching was for me. It was my responsibility to assist students during in-class assignments, grade homework and hold out-of-class study sessions for quizzes and exams each week. To me, being a TA was the sole motivator for deciding whether or not to pursue a career in education. I know I wasn’t responsible for all of the duties of the professor, but the way the students sought help from me and told me of the impact I made really stirred up a “this-is-my-calling” kind of feeling that I had never felt before.
What has the Noyce program meant to you?
The Noyce Scholarship gives me an excellent opportunity to get an education in something that I love while being able to have an impact in students’ lives that may need that positive influence more than others. Teaching a high-need subject area like math in a high-need schools district sounds like the most rewarding challenge I could face in my career. I imagine that students in such schools have an even worse attitude towards math than students in other public school systems.
I would be comfortable teaching students at an educational disadvantage and see myself doing so, whether or not I was in the Noyce Scholars program. Whatever a student’s situation may be in a high-needs school district, leaving that impression on a student is something I dream to do for a lifetime.