Student Experience: Q&A with Teacher Candidate Ji-Young Kim
Where are you from?
What is your favorite thing to do in Boston/Cambridge?
Hanging out with my children (museums and good food).
What is your science or math background?
Majored in chemistry in undergrad (Wellesley College) and in organic chemistry (U of Illinois at Urbana Champaign). I worked as a synthetic chemist at pharmaceutical companies for 10 years before moving to the Boston area.
Why did you choose the WW Academy?
An innovative program that would prepare me to be the teacher I wanted to be was very attractive.
What has been the best part about your time at the WW Academy so far?
Innovative people (faculty, staff and teacher candidates) who are willing to try new things, change things, fix things, and help others for the goal of training students to be the teacher they want to be.
What has been the most challenging thing and how are you working/have worked to overcome it?
Getting adjusted to the new way of learning that is very different from what I have been used to all my life. I am still working on it by pushing myself to ask questions and ask for help rather than trying to do it all by myself—there are so many willing helpers around.
What do you hope to do after you complete your M.Ed. at the WW Academy?
Become a high school chemistry teacher who can get high schoolers excited about learning overall.
Why should others consider the WW Academy program?
The program nurtures teacher candidates to learn to be the teacher who makes a difference in students’ lives. The program is willing to use all the tools available to effectively train teacher candidates and create new tools if there is not an effective enough one to achieve the goal. Just as the program values the students the teacher candidates will face later, it values the teacher candidates and puts their overall well-being top priority.
How is the program shaping your idea of what it means to be a good teacher?
The program addresses practical tasks such as setting up learning objectives and dealing with students of different learning backgrounds with students in mind, rather than regarding teaching just as a task to be done. Such a mindset motivates me to remember why I want to be a teacher to begin with. Also, as I experience how much faculty, staff, and other fellow teacher candidates are willing to put in energy and time to nurture me, I am learning to be a “good” teacher by example.