CalTeach Science & Math Program, 2013
School of Education
July 1, 2013
“I could not be more proud to be a part of the 2013 Cal Teach cohort.”
When I was applying for college four years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I have an older sister who applied to just one place (and got in), so I didn’t really understand the value or necessity of applying to more than four schools. After I was rejected from two, and lost the log-in information needed to accept an offer from the third, UC Irvine became my only option. It ended up being the best choice.
Despite being a solid “B” math student in high school, I had high hopes for my pursuit of mathematics at the college level. I was so confident, in fact, that I quickly decided to double-major in math and computer science, and pick up minors in linguistics and philosophy. During the spring quarter of my freshman year, I enrolled in the Cal Teach course “Introduction to Science and Mathematics Teaching” and enjoyed it enough to add “Secondary Teaching Credential” to my “to-do” list.
The summer following my freshman year I was part of the first round of Noyce interns. My job was to work at one of several informal math and science centers, creating lessons and exploring what teaching is like. I was fortunate enough to work with a sailing camp and had a blast coming up with fun and interesting ways to use the context of sailing to introduce math and science concepts. I decided that teaching wasn’t just another entry on the list of things that I wanted to do, but actually had moved to the very top of the list. Unfortunately, this meant my schedule was becoming too full to do much else. I kept up my 24-unit quarters and club activities (Mock Trial!) for as long as I could, but ultimately I scaled down to the teaching credential and degree in math, plus minors in linguistics and computer science.
I have no regrets regarding my time at UCI. I continued to work with the Noyce internship each summer, helping to shape it into a strong program for developing potential teachers. I was able to meet three rounds of future math teachers by serving as a Teaching Assistant in the Cal Teach “Functions and Modeling” course, and I even had the opportunity to design and teach my own course on visual-spatial ability through the Associated Students UC Irvine (ASUCI) UTeach program. I also have been able to use what I learned through my linguistics and computer science courses to improve my teaching. I can understand developing math fluency through the lens of developing fluency in a language, and with my Math Visuals project I use technology to explain and explore math in a language closer to art than algebra.
While I am currently looking for a high school teaching job, I hope to one day continue my formal study of math and education. My journey through the Cal Teach program has shown me so many fascinating perspectives on how people learn and how to teach that it is hard to believe there are no more classes to take. I could not be more proud to be a part of the 2013 Cal Teach cohort. Apart from just being awesome people to know, each member has helped shape me into a better person and a stronger teacher.