Math Education Major Wins National Scholarship

  • By: Emily Pawlowski
  • Published: Nov 5, 2020 2:45PM
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At Taylor, students learn to become the best teachers they can be through a liberal arts education and hands-on student teaching experiences. This drive to be the best not only makes for good teachers, but good competitors when it comes to applying for jobs and scholarships.  

Abigail Pyle, a junior Mathematics Education major, found that her ambitions and experiences at Taylor set her apart after applying for and winning a prestigious math education scholarship. 

Securing her Future

As Pyle completed her sophomore year of college, her future at Taylor was uncertain due to financial concerns. In response, she sought out aid through scholarships, both from within the university and from other organizations.  

One scholarship she found during her search was the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Prospective 7-12 Secondary Teacher Course Work Scholarship. The NCTM is a well-known organization and the scholarship is only awarded to a few people every year, but Pyle decided to apply for it. She registered as a member of the NCTM, provided her background, experience, and letters of recommendation, and began the wait to see if she was accepted.  

In August, she found out she won.

“I was stunned and felt paralyzed for a second and honestly didn't believe it,” Pyle said. “But then I just broke down crying because I realized it was legit and I had just won $10,000! That right there was what I needed to be able to return to Taylor, and I was beyond joyful and speechless at the gracious mercy and provision of God to allow me to win that!”

Using Her Experiences to Teach Others

The funding from the NCTM Scholarship allowed Pyle to continue following her dream to help students in a position she was once in. As a child of missionaries, Pyle was homeschooled and grew up watching her mother and other parents work to provide their children with an education. These memories have driven her to become a teacher overseas, providing a math education for homeschoolers or at international schools for missionary kids. 

“I want to be able to invest into the next generation while also being a support for missionary kids and having a ministry in their lives,” Pyle said.

To prepare for the unique experiences of teaching abroad, Pyle has big plans for her education at Taylor. As part of her education degree, she’s required to do work student teaching to get real-life experience in the classroom. In addition to working in local classrooms, Pyle plans to do half of her student teaching semester abroad, to gain experience teaching overseas.  

Learning Both Inside and Out of the Classroom

During her time at Taylor, Pyle has found herself challenged in new ways during her classes. 

“Getting experience in the classroom has helped prepare me for what it will be like in the real world of teaching, Pyle said. “My education classes have taught me the hardships and limitations teachers must face but also the incredible joy and reward that comes with teaching.”

Even outside of the classroom, Pyle has found many of her experiences valuable toward preparing for her future. She even saw applying for the NCTM, and the challenges surrounding that, to be a blessing. 

“It has taught me to hold my plans loosely in my hands and trust that God is in control, and ultimately, His will is what is best for me. All He has called me to do is live in the here and now, serve and love those around me, and trust Him with every cell in my being, for He is truly good! He has proved it to me over and over.”

To learn more about Taylor’s Mathematics Education major, click here.