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Noyce Scholar Profiles

Katherine Prentice

Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Mathematics

Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 7-12

Category of stipend/stipend/fellowship:
Undergraduate Noyce scholar (junior and/or senior year)

Name of Institution:
California State University, Northridge

Current academic or teaching status:
1 year of teaching experience

School and school district:
I am currently looking for a position. I taught for one year at Antelope Valley High School, A.V. High School District

Background:
I have been interested in teaching since I was very young, and became interested in mathematics starting in the 8th grade. During my senior year of high school, I took AP Calculus and decided I wanted to focus on teaching math. I have spent a lot of my time since middle school tutoring fellow classmates, younger students, and even college students. I went on to major in mathematics at California State Northridge, as well as obtain my secondary education mathematics credential. So far, I have one year of teaching experience with Antelope Valley High School, teaching Algebra 1 and CAHSEE Prep.

Why do you want to teach:
I want to pass on my knowledge of Mathematics to younger students in a way they can understand it. Having grown up in a household of people who dislike and fear math, I want to try and change that.

Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Perhaps the most memorable teaching experience I have had thus far occurred during my student teaching assignment at Pacoima Middle School. A student of mine at the time used to sleep in class on a regular basis due to boredom with the Math 7 concepts. The master teacher would occasionally give him an assignment to do from the Algebra book to give him some sort of challenge. One day, this student came up to me and said he was looking at proofs online for various different things and found one that stated that 1=2. I got very excited by this, as this student had shown a true interest in mathematics beyond the classroom, though this did not appear to be the case from his in-class behavior. I told him to bring in the proof one day, and we'd talk about it during Snack. Unfortunately, the student was removed from my class shortly after due to some conflicts between him and my master teacher, and I was unable to discuss this proof with him. However, just the fact that he had shown that much interest in a proof like this continues to remain very vivid in my mind.

What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The scholarship money I received from Noyce allowed me to focus on my classwork and what I needed to do in order to become a teacher, rather than spend a lot of time working or taking out more student loans to get through school. I also got to know a lot more people who were interested in becoming math teachers through many of the conferences I attended with my fellow Noyce Scholars.

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