A Promising Future as a Math Teacher Awaits Kiera Bell
Keene State College senior Kiera Bell is well on her way to beginning her career as a mathematics teacher. She was recently awarded the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics college mathematics scholarship. The award is annually given to a New Hampshire college student taking steps to become a math teacher. This is the second year in a row a Keene State student has received this honor.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” said Kiera, who is double majoring in elementary education and mathematics. “There are a lot of teachers in my family, so I’ve always felt that’s what I should do.”
Kiera decided to pursue math education during her senior year of high school after completing an internship in a sixth-grade math class. “I felt natural in the math classroom, with helping students understand math, so that’s how I decided on becoming a math teacher.”
She also wants to help students feel more comfortable with studying math, as even adults sometimes say they are bad at math. “A lot of students struggle with math or say that they dislike math, so I’d like to help them see that it can be exciting and doesn’t have to be hard. I want them to see that math is everywhere and that learning it can be fun. I think it’s important to get our youth excited about math.”
Kiera is actively involved on campus. She’s member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honors society, and Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honors society, as has worked as a peer course assistant. “I think one of the most difficult things to do is stand up in front of your peers and talk, so being a peer course assistant really helped me be comfortable in front of a group of students and made talking to kids much easier.”
Once Kiera knew she was planning on studying to become a teacher, Keene State was a clear choice. In her hometown of Peterborough, which is about 20-miles from Keene, she met Keene State student-teachers in her own classes, and many of her own teachers from her earlier school years were Keene State grads.
Her biggest advice for other students hoping to become teachers is to get to know your professors because the connections you’ll make with them will help hone your skills and you’ll get advice about what to do next. “I think all of the different experiences that I’ve had here and the different connections I’ve made have really made me the teacher that I will be,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of experience in the field, not just in my methods classes.”
Next semester, Kiera will wrap up her time at Keene State with a full-time student-teaching position, an education program requirement that enables students to get practical, hands-on experience in the field before they graduate.
Once she graduates in May, Kiera will be certified to teach grades Kindergarten through 6.
“I really like younger kids, but because I have a math background too, I could see myself in a middle school teaching math. Right now, I’m not sure which direction I’ll go. I’m just excited to get out there and teach.”