Degree(s) earned and from where: BS in Textile Engineering from Southern Polytechnic State University
Previous career: Quality Engineer and Lean Six Sigma facilitator
What made you decide to change to a career in K-12 teaching?
A variety of personal as well as business experiences has aided in my desire to pursue a teaching career. I have seen firsthand the lasting impression (be it positive or negative) an instructor can have on a student. I have always had a heart to help others expand themselves by increasing their knowledge in any area. I especially like taking on the challenge of teaching individuals that think they are not capable of learning certain material or individuals that may get lost in the shuffle. Students in the K-12 are so impressionable and I believe it is imperative that they get the proper guidance and education from educators that care about the individuals they are shaping for tomorrow’s society. After being continually dissatisfied with my current career, I decided to finally take a step in the direction of that which makes me happy.
What attracted you to Kennesaw State University’s MAT program?
The first thing that attracted me to Kennesaw’s MAT program was the specificity of the program. I love that the program is geared towards those who have a STEM background. I felt that those involved in this program would have truly contemplated their choice and would be serious about their studies. I also was drawn to the community that seems to exist among the students and professors. Faculty within the program are courteous, passionate, and accommodating. Before even committing to the program, you get a sense of them wanting to see you succeed. I also like that the program seems to be well organized and developed to help you quickly (but with proper preparation) return to the work field.
What do you hope to learn by being a Noyce Teaching Fellow?
As a Noyce Teaching Fellow, my biggest desire is to develop an ever growing network of professionals that I can learn from for years to come. I want to learn how to reach my students and effectively teach them the required material. My goal is to continually grow as an educator even after my completion of the MAT program.
What challenges do you think exist in high needs schools that differ from non-high needs schools?
Some of the challenges I feel that exists for high needs schools is obtaining and retaining highly qualified professionals, lack of proper resources (instructional materials), lack of educational opportunities for students outside of the school, and possibly parent participation.