Noyce Scholars
Michael Clark

Michael Clark headshot

Program
M.T., earth science education

Undergraduate major
Environmental studies

Background
I attended Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach and transferred to VCU to complete my undergrad work. I have had experience in the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow program and am certified in service learning.

Why do you want to teach?
Teaching allows you to create your own world within the classroom. In the classroom, it is up to you to manage everything from fostering a good community to academic success. I thoroughly enjoy bringing new people into my world and learning about their world in the process. I excel at communicating, building bonds, and sharing knowledge in an understandable way. In essence, teaching is something I both enjoy doing and something I am good at.

Please tell us about a memorable teaching experience and why it stands out in your mind.
I remember trying out a new classroom management technique with my students. This technique had me create class guidelines with the students, rather than simply telling them what they are. This was a memorable experience for me because I realized how much can be accomplished when I listen to my students. Their tension was relaxed, they were more willing to cooperate, and they saw the classroom as a community. Those types of experiences always stick out to me in my life: times when I saw a potential mess in front of me and managed to organize it in an enjoyable way.

What has the Noyce program meant to you?
NOYCE has provided me the opportunity to refine myself as a professional. The master's program has always been something I’ve wanted to do but I worried about how I would fund myself to get there. NOYCE provided me that safety net and has been guiding me along the way at every turn. I am extremely grateful, not only for the financial support, but the personal support as well.