teachHOUSTON: The Journey of a STEM Teacher
The Houston area has a shortage of STEM teachers. teachHOUSTON, the University of Houston’s (UH) secondary STEM teacher preparation program, has a mission to prepare STEM majors in becoming culturally responsive and inquiry-based STEM teachers. Future STEM teachers are academically and financially supported through an NSF Noyce program, Advancing Cultural and Computational Engagement in STEM Scholars (UH-ACCESS). Formal and informal learning opportunities focus on topics including inquiry-based learning, classroom management, effective use of technology, and culturally responsive pedagogy.
Amidst the pandemic, a UH student, Dacia Morris, received a flyer which advertised the teachHOUSTON program. teachHOUSTON would allow her to earn a teaching certificate while completing her bachelor’s degree. She was an unemployed, full-time student, and single mother trying to find her pathway in life. After enrolling in the program, in her own words, her “life’s trajectory was flipped upside down in the most phenomenal way.” She was guided through the process of obtaining assistance for her financial struggles and was awarded $12,000 in scholarships. Dacia is currently teaching mathematics at Spring Woods High School. This high school is 84% Hispanic, a student population that is rising in STEM interest.
teachHOUSTON: The Journey of a STEM Teacher highlights the realities of becoming a STEM teacher for many in the program and how important the academic and financial support is for a student’s success. The goal is to create an understanding of STEM learning from the personal perspective of a teacher including the successes, struggles, and daily experiences as an educator.
NSF Awards: 1950036
Presented in: 2022 (see original presentation & discussion)
Grade Level: All Age Groups