Get to know a few of the Teach@Mines students
Teach@Mines serves undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni from every major at Mines!
Hi! I am graduating in 2022 and next year I will be teaching at Memoria Press Online Academy! I studied Applied Math and Statistics at Mines, got married to another Mines grad, and am following my husband around the country with his military career.
I came to Mines with the goal of using an engineering degree for humanitarian causes. However, the more I sat in classes, the more I envied my professors! I soon learned about SCED 262, Early Field Experience, and found my Thursday evenings booked with hands on lectures about teaching. In the field part of the class, I loved being in the classroom and seeing students learn, get frustrated, overcome their challenges, and say things with the wit and gusto that only a well-served student can have with their ever-patient teacher.
Teach@Mines informed me of an amazing summer program called Generation Teach. Being a GT fellow meant that I had my own class and could really explore the field. My students made me look forward to work every single day. If they couldn’t make me smile, a sympathetic glance from an understanding coworker could. My summer with GT convinced me that it was time to look for teaching jobs, and the resources from GT set me up well to teach in Denver. My marriage, however, and our frequent moving took teaching in Denver off the table. I knew of MPOA through my high school and knew I liked the curriculum, so I began substitute teaching with them. After meeting lots of amazing teachers and faculty members, I took a full-time job for next year and cannot be more excited! Teaching at an online academy means that I can empower families to tap into the fluid, student-oriented field of homeschooling. I’m also free to move around the country without affecting my students. I find a lot of purpose in my job, which is something most educators really value. I could not be more thankful for my time at Mines and for Teach@Mines, and cannot wait to hear about the wonderful educators Mines continues to produce!
My name is Eric Norfleet and I am a 6th grade science teacher at Aurora Science and Tech Middle School. I became interested in education while attending graduate school at Mines in 2019-2020. I was able to enroll in both SCED262 – Early Field Experience and PHGN498/598 – Physics Teaching Techniques which gave me both valuable experience shadowing in an actual classroom and learning the fundamentals of education with Dr. Adams.
Through Teach@Mines, I discovered an Apprentice Teacher role offered by DSST Public Schools that led me to where I am today. As an apprentice teacher, I began the year as a mentor to a fantastic science teacher who taught me the ins-and-outs of teaching. Throughout the year, I went from mentor to lead teacher and was offered a full-time teaching position at my school as a sixth grade science teacher. Not only did I land a job with an amazing set of coworkers, but I am also at a founding school (currently in its third year) with an ambitious long-term vision for its partnership with the Anschutz Medical Campus, which is located just south of our building. As part of this vision, I have taken on the responsibility of coordinating a year-long Seminar Series, inviting professional biomedical scientists to come to our campus and share their work directly with students on a biweekly basis. Through Teach@Mines, I was able to find my way into a very rewarding, challenging career that combines my love of teaching with my love of science.
“Hello! I am an undergraduate pursuing the minor Teach@Mines offers and a research assistant for the Get the Facts Out Program that Wendy directs. In the future, I hope to get my master’s, go into a research field, and then teach in underprivileged schools in the US.
I took a gap year before college backpacking around France and New Zealand and used this time to explore what drives me as an individual. Though I didn’t figure out a definite “life plan,” I felt like I gained something with more value: the importance of embracing the unknown. That is, to explore and uncover what drives me as an individual. I was lucky to find a source of my drive in the first few months of being here. In the past, I enjoyed tutoring but it wasn’t until I became involved with Teach@Mines that I could recognize this passion.
Being a decent teacher isn’t too difficult, but being an impactful and life-changing one requires dedication. I had thought teaching consisted of you coming to school, teaching the students about the material, and going home, and for some, it is. But after taking two of the classes Teach@Mines offers, I realize the effort and time some of my favorite teachers put in. Getting kids to understand something is one thing, but making them feel valued and interested in the material is a whole other challengeーespecially for students that come from less privileged backgrounds.
Here at Mines, we have the power to make real, concrete changes in the world we live in. Whether you’re an engineer or an artist, I believe at the root of every accomplishment was a good teacher.”
“Before I had any definite idea of what I wanted to do, I felt like I had a responsibility to make some sort of positive impact on the world and people around me. I gravitated toward engineering as the process of creating lasting solutions to real problems, but it concerned me that the impact of my work would start and end with my own presence and effort. I wanted to bring about sustainable positive change that would continue to propagate on its own, and teaching has so far seemed like the best way to do that. While I feel that my education at Mines has prepared me to be an effective engineer, I believe that my time is better spent giving others the tools to critically evaluate and address the challenges they encounter.”
“I am a Colorado native and an undergraduate at the Colorado School of Mines, pursuing a degree in engineering physics. I am from Brighton, Colorado, and grew up raising cattle and harvesting alfalfa. I am a member of a couple of clubs on campus which include, Club Baseball and TEA (Teaching Education Alliance) club. I am also a Resident Advisor on campus. I love Colorado sports and love to be very active. While I am getting my degree in engineering physics, I am also striving to receive my teaching licensure along the way. Being a teacher means helping support students pursue their dreams. It means being able to shape the future and make respectful individuals that can change the world. I want to be a teacher that makes students excited to come and learn and leave feeling fulfilled that they learned something useful. I am interested in teaching because I want to make a real change in the world. I feel that education has the benefits of feeling you are making a change in someone else’s life, and I would love to be able to that every day.”
“I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher since I was very young. After graduating high school, however, my love for science and math led me to Mines, where I’m majoring in Engineering Physics with minors in Mathematical Science and Space & Planetary Science. I love my department and my peers, but I’ve always felt a bit torn, knowing that a career in industry or research wasn’t right for me. When the TEAM-UP program was created, I immediately knew it was perfect. Through TEAM-UP I can complete my degree in physics and simultaneously pursue licensure for a career I know will make me happy. TEAM-UP has already provided me with many valuable opportunities to work in local classrooms and network with experienced professionals. I plan to graduate from Mines in May 2017, earn my teaching license in December 2017, and start applying to teach high school math or science as soon as I can!”
“When I was in high school, one of my favorite teachers often told us of his time studying to be and eventually working as an electrical engineer. His industry experience and schooling in a specific content area allowed him to relate the content to real-world applications, which was extremely beneficial for our classes. As I looked at my own future I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and I realized that for me, in order to be the best teacher possible, it would be best to pursue a degree that would give me a strong content background and a broader scope of knowledge. Now, I am a senior in engineering physics and I feel that my future students will benefit from all that I have learned here. I am extremely thankful for TEAM-UP because it has given me the chance to connect with other students with similar interests, to work with students in a nearby high school, and to network with and get advice from amazing educators. The relationships I have made in this program have enriched my life already and I am sure they will be invaluable, both personally and professionally, moving forward. “
“I have moved about a dozen times, getting to go to a variety of schools doing everything from online programs, public school to being home-schooled. I have lived all over the United States, and spent a few years in Japan. My love for computers brought me to the school of Mines, but after a few years of working as a summer camp counselor with iD Tech I found that working with students is much more rewarding. Thanks to the UNC-Mines cohort I am able to pursue both passions as I prepare to be a mathematics teacher.”
“I am a senior in Engineering Physics at the Colorado School of Mines. I am from Somewhere-In-The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Oklahoma and I enjoy reading, eating, and sleeping. After taking an amazing physics class in high school, I became interested in the idea of teaching science classes at a higher level. I live in Lakewood, Colorado with my handsome fiance.”
“When I was in high school, one of my favorite teachers often told us of his time studying to be and eventually working as an electrical engineer. His industry experience and schooling in a specific content area allowed him to relate the content to real-world applications, which was extremely beneficial for our classes. As I looked at my own future I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and I realized that for me, in order to be the best teacher possible, it would be best to pursue a degree that would give me a strong content background and a broader scope of knowledge. Now, I am a senior in engineering physics and I feel that my future students will benefit from all that I have learned here. I am extremely thankful for TEAM-UP because it has given me the chance to connect with other students with similar interests.