I was born in Togo a small country in West Africa. Due to political turmoil my family fled to Ghana a neighboring country where we spent eight years as refugees. My siblings and I spent two of those eight years home without education until my father who used to be a professor built a small school to educate the kids at the camp. It took a whole community effort to establish the institution. We seek workers to build the classrooms in return for free or reduced tuition. That school served my educational needs till seventh grade.
In 2001 we immigrated to the United States. English being a foreign language I started out with ESOL. I took a special liking to mathematics because it is a universal language, numbers being its alphabets, “My Dear Aunt Sally” (multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction) being its grammatical structures. I was amazed that the education I received from a refugee camp in Africa gave me a solid enough foundation to excel in America. Education lays out better prospects for growth. It breaks barriers and equips us with tools needed for a more prosperous life.
I pursued my B.A. in mathematics because I thought with more content knowledge I will be a better teacher. That was until I took Classroom Management with Dr. Ellerbrock. The reality sunk in. It takes more than content knowledge. It requires a pedagogy that takes into consideration my philosophy and my students’ background. How do you motivate the child whose mom is battling cancer, the child who has spent the last 4 months in motels, and the child who is expecting to inherit his parent’s wealth for future success? These are just some motivational issues which I have encountered from teaching. The Robert Noyce STEM Fellows Program will equip me with the tools and support network to be competent in my career. I am hoping to learn the best practices backed by research and experience from the USF faculty.