East-West School of International Studies
Flushing, New York
“The work that I put into becoming a teacher has been more than worth it, as I watched students written off as way below grade level rise to challenges far exceeding even my own expectations.”
Dwaina is a New Yorker, through and through. She resides in Queens Village, New York, where she was born and raised. Dwaina even earned a Bachelor of Arts in math from Queens College and is currently enrolled at Teachers College, where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in math education. Both institutions are located in New York.
During her junior year in high school, Dwaina had a particularly rough time with a precalculus course that nearly led her to fulfill her math requirement by taking an elective, rather than finishing the sequence with calculus. After being convinced by her advisor to stick it out, it was Dwaina’s calculus teacher who helped her to fall back in love with mathematics. Through participation in a mathematics education program at Queens College, she was granted the opportunity to support students much in the same way that she was supported by her calculus teacher. This experience solidified her desire to become a teacher.
While working as a student teacher, Dwaina volunteered to work one-on-one with a student who had fallen behind. Over the course of a year, the student improved two levels in mathematics. Despite her initial reservations, she developed a love of mathematics that led her to participate in a city-wide mathematics olympiad.
As a KSTF Teaching Fellow, Dwaina “hopes to become part of a strong community of mathematics and science educators who can effectively collaborate and share our successes and difficulties. I also hope to gain exposure to top educators and mentors to provide me with insight on how to continually improve my practice.”
When she isn’t teaching or working as a lifeguard and swim instructor, Dwaina enjoys cooking, playing lacrosse, making films and discovering new television series.