Degree(s) earned and from where: BSME, Georgia Tech
Previous career: Consultant, Valuation
What made you decide to change to a career in K-12 teaching?
I was dissatisfied with how my career was going and with my lack of interest in what I was doing. I also was unhappy with the amount of hours demanded of me at all my previous jobs, and felt the need for better life-work balance. I have always enjoyed “teaching” or explaining concepts to others, either at work or just to friends, and always had an interest in and a knack for physics. So being a high school physics teacher seemed like the natural choice for me.
What attracted you to Kennesaw State University’s MAT program?
The #1 thing that attracted me to the KSU MAT program was the I-IMPACT Noyce II Fellowship for STEM teacher career-changers. Also, the location of the campus meant that I would not have to relocate to attend the program.
What do you hope to learn by being a Noyce Teaching Fellow?
I hope to learn best practices of teaching science in a high school environment. I hope to keep up with all the latest techniques and available technology and tips of the trade, and I hope to gain a good supportive network of like-minded teachers. I think being a Noyce Teaching Fellow is conducive to all of these.
What challenges do you think exist in high needs schools that differ from non-high needs schools?
Some of the specific challenges I think exist in high needs schools that are less present in other schools include a less supportive atmosphere at home, lower expectations (by parents and teachers both), and fewer resources. Many of these students live in single-parent homes and there is simply less emphasis on education, whether due to lack of time, lack of enthusiasm, or other issues causing focus to be directed towards other priorities. Teachers can also become complacent, as the situation appears bleak and helpless, and the schools may also be under-funded.