Jamie Whyte has been awarded the Rudy Hanley Scholarship during the UCI School of Education 2018-2019 Scholarship Award Ceremony. Jamie is pursuing her Single Subject Master of Arts in Teaching in Math. Below, she shares her thoughts about her academic journey.
From the time I was young, I have been passionate about learning math and sharing it with others. In elementary school, my favorite day of the week was “Math Friday” as using hands-on learning techniques to solve math problems was extremely exciting for me. While I loved learning about math, I loved explaining it to others even more; I was the student who never failed to volunteer to explain math problems on the whiteboard. This love for explaining math continued into high school where I tutored many of my fellow classmates. In college, I decided to major in Psychology and Education – since learning about how people behave and learn are the two topics I am most passionate about.
As I learned more about the education field, I became more committed to the idea of joining it. I began working at an after-school learning center teaching accelerated math classes. At the learning center, teaching math in engaging ways became an everyday occurrence. I presented math concepts using games and multimedia; I created interactive content that I felt students would find valuable. I was reminded of why I loved “Math Friday” as a child; on that day, math was approachable and fun for all students.
This is my reason for becoming a teacher; I want every student to feel engaged and comfortable in the math classroom. I hope that by creating a welcoming and fun environment, students can surrender their preconceived notions of their math abilities. Everyone can be a “math person” if they have a growth mindset – a belief in one’s ability to improve and a willingness to be challenged. As a future math teacher, I am committed to assisting students in developing this mindset and encouraging them to use it in other areas of their lives too.
Jamie Whyte and Single Subject Coordinator Acacia Warren