Malcolm K. McConner 1
Home Resume Professional Statement Research Links


Hello, my name is Malcolm McConner. I am from Newport News, VA. I am a senior at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. My passion to teach is rooted from being raised in a single parent home; my mother has been my motivational factor in becoming a well-known and respected teacher. Standing in front of a classroom full of young and impressionable students, feels more like a responsibility than a calling to me. As a young African American man, who has overcome numerous trials and tribulations, I want to be to the students that I will have the honor to teach, lead, discipline and learn from, so they can believe that you can achieve anything you want as long as you put them extra effort in.
African American men in the education field are very. Teachers in America are underappreciated and are not provided with the best pay, respect, and are not given enough credit for the dedication that they give in the classroom. While I was going through school, I noticed that I rarely saw an African American male as a teacher. Most of my teachers were either white or black woman, so I did not have an African American man in the classroom to encourage, discipline, or enlighten me about the importance of an education. After my parents got divorced, I moved to Virginia in 2005 and started my sophomore year at Woodside High School. I entered a choir class, with an instructor by the name of Jason Dungee. Mr. Dungee was a recent graduated from Hampton University with a Master’s in Music Education and he received his Bachelor’s at Westminster Choir College and it was his first time teaching a High School class. The fact that I had an African American man, teaching me how to sing was a pleasant surprise. The characteristic that set Mr. Dungee apart was the care that he had for his students’. Mr. Dungee made an effort to establish a relationship with all of his students, if the students were willing to open up to him. He was a man I could confide in about the troubles that were going on in my high school career. Mr. Dungee was straightforward and blunt and was going to make you aware of the hardships of being a black male in America. After spending my last three years with him in the classroom, I decided that I wanted to make the same positive impact that he made on me. That is when I decided that I wanted to become an educator.

 I was accepted into the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER), fall of 2011 at Elizabeth City State University. The Principal Investigator of CERSER is Dr. Linda Bailey Hayden. The goal of CERSER is to develop and implement innovative and relevant education and research collaborations focused on ice sheet, coastal, ocean and marine research. I was not sure what my responsibilities were going to be, but thanks to Dr. Hayden I quickly found my purpose in this great research organization. I was fortunate enough to obtain different skill sets that I could apply in the classroom when I begin my teaching career. I have worked on multiple education based research projects in collaboration with my math education mentor, distinguished lecturer, Dr. Darnell Johnson. CERSER has broadened my perspective on how important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is essential in the classroom. As a future educator, I know that it is my responsibility to encourage my students to not be intimidated by math or science and make the lessons engaging enough that the students are always excited about learning more. CERSER has provided me with trips to STEM conferences, an internship at the University of Kansas, experience with the University of New Hampshire Watershed Watch Project and conducting research that is based on STEM education.

During the summer of 2013, I had the privilege to work with Dr. Johnson and other colleagues in the Research Experience for Teachers Team (RET), in cooperation with students from the CReSIS middle school summer program. The title of our research was “Using Common Core State Standards of Seventh Grade Mathematics in the Application of NXT LEGO Robotics for CReSIS Middle School Students”. This research consisted of teaching the students the 5 strands of mathematics from the common core state standards. We gave the students a pre-test from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) current curriculum. After the students took their test we diagnose and constructed the data in excel form and created several lesson plans that would assist the students in the comprehension of the mathematic skills. The RET used mathematical strategies to teach various scientific, mathematical, and design concepts through designing and programming NXT LEGO Robotics for the seventh grade level. The students received hands on experience for robotics construction and programming with the application of mathematics, motion, and problem solving in a collaborative setting.

In preparation of becoming an educator, I have mentored children, worked at the YMCA during the summer, and have fulfilled community service hours in several classrooms. I really enjoy being around children, because they have someone positive to idolize and hold in high regards. After I teach for a several years I would like to pursue a Master’s in either School leadership or School Administration. With this degree I would want to hold a position as a Principal of a school. Once I have established myself as a great leader of school, I am going to enter a Doctoral program in Education. Once I have accomplished that degree, I would like to move forward and be selected into the Board of Education of a school district and become a Superintendent.