My name is Alyssa Williams and I was born in South Dakota. However, mydad was in the military growing up so I was raised in multiple locations. It was during my fourth grade that we settled in Florida. Since I was constantly moving around, this made it difficult to get adjusted to a particular school setting. I do believe that this has helped me in my academics because I have done much of the understanding on my own as nothing ever seemed consistent ateach location. I have wanted to teach ever since my second grade teacher inspired me to learn and I want to be able to provide this to students.
Ever since middle school I was always a little bit ahead in mathematics and began my high school algebra class in the 8th grade. When I entered high school I consistently took honors courses and then chose to take AP Calculus my senior year. This was my favorite class in all four years and then decided to continue with the sequence in college. As the year progressed I began to really fall in love with the subject of mathematics and decided that I would get my degree in it. Here at USF I was part of the honors college and graduated cum laude with my B.A. in Mathematics. Since I was able to intern in a first and fourth grade classroom during high school, I thought that was what I wanted to teach, however I learned in finishing my undergraduate degree that maybe this wasn't the plan for me.
Throughout high school I was always involved in athletics or extra-curriculars such as National Honor Society and Future Educators Academy. This followed into college as my freshman year I was involved in multiple different outside the classroom activities. My sophomore year is when I decided to become a tutor on campus and have been ever since. I was also able to help my education background as I was a peer leader in many calculus courses for USF. Because of this experience I was able to experience firsthand the struggles that students go through in learning mathematics. You begin to realize that the struggle is not in the new material but rather the lack of knowledge from middle and high school.
These programs were fantastic and this is when I fully became to realize that I want to teach in the secondary mathematics classrooms. Since so many students are not fond of math, having a great teacher through middle and high school is crucial to learning the subject. Getting students to fully enjoy math is something that I strive for. As I continue in the MAT program, I hope to learn the skills that are needed in the classroom. Also, I hope to be able to form a positive attitude in the students mind towards the subject. If you can get a student to enjoy the subject you can then get them to learn to their full potential. With the Noyce Program, I hope to become a teacher that will get the students to love and understand the subject of mathematics.