Why Are the Underrepresented Minorities Underachieving in STEM? - Higher Education: Whenever Tamara L. Battle taught middle and high school students as a member of the Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education program — or GK-12 — she always made it a point to talk about her previous struggles in math and science.
“I always tell students what my background is to let them know that I know what I’m talking about,” says Battle, who served as a GK-12 fellow at the Cesar Chavez Charter Schools for Public Policy in Washington, D.C. from 2006 to 2008.
“But I always tell this story about me failing my first physics class [in college], and now I’m teaching [physics],” Battle says of the time when she earned an F in physics at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in the 1990s.
Battle says the idea behind sharing her personal story was to help students at the mostly African-American and Hispanic school overcome the fear of failure in what is often unfamiliar terrain.