Our Employee of the Month is Grace Yun!
Grace is the lead STEM teacher at Theordore Roosevelt in New Jersey – teaching coding, chess, and robotics. She is passionate about education and creating a safe and welcoming space for her students. Grace has done an amazing job with challenging classes and is an exemplary educator.
Grace, thank you for being such an outstanding employee and teacher!
To show our appreciation for your dedication and hard work – please check your email this week for a special gift from us.
Check out our interview with Grace below:
1. Who are you, where do you come from, where are you going?
I am an aspiring teacher, lifelong learner, and definitely a cat person! I was born and raised in New York City and love the more tranquil pace of New Jersey as a new transplant to this state. My passion is working with children and education!
2. How long have you been teaching with Apollo?
I have been with Apollo for about 5 months and it has been an incredible experience so far.
3. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started teaching?
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that this profession is not a static one, so always having an open mind and heart is essential. The dynamic, ever-changing nature of teaching as well as the myriad ways students surprise you and teach you are part of the reason I love this job.
4. How do you motivate your students to succeed?
I try to encourage and support the students who become discouraged or unmotivated by showing them that they are more than capable of succeeding. Each student has unique strengths and qualities that just need to be brought to light or acknowledged for them to grow and succeed happily.
5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
It would definitely be flying or having the ability to traverse between buildings like Spider-Man does!
6. What is your most memorable memory from your time as an Apollo instructor?
There are so many memories to choose from, but one that will stick with me forever is having a parent of one of my Apollo students tell me that her child asked if she could get a chess set to play with after I showed the class how to play chess. She expressed her surprise at the child’s sudden interest and thanked me for teaching the Kindergartener. That was a truly special and gratifying moment for me.
7. If you could retire tomorrow and never have to worry about money again, what would you do with your time?
Honestly, I would continue doing what I do! I love spending my time working with children and it is a fulfilling way to spend my days so ultimately, I would be doing the same thing.
8. What’s your go-to technique for dealing with ‘handful students’?
I believe there is no such thing as a “bad” student, so if a student is misbehaving or being a “handful”, my approach is never to berate, but to help them understand that rules are in place for a reason and that if they follow them, it will only benefit their experience in the program.
9. What is an unusual place you have been to?
An unusual place I have been to was a haunted house/maze event for Halloween. There was a large corn maze that we had to find our way out of and it was a memorable, spooky experience!
10. Do you have a talent that not many people know about?
I took years of piano lessons as a child to adolescence and can play the piano pretty well.
11. What’s your #1 teaching tip?
Have fun! When the teacher is engaged and excited, they evoke the same emotions in their students and they are more receptive to learn since they see that learning can be fun!
12. What’s your favorite classroom Attention Getter?
A whistle is always effective for getting attention, but I have also learned some fun attention getting rhymes from teachers such as “1, 2, 3, all eyes on me” and “mac and cheese, everyone freeze”.
13. What is something interesting that you’re involved in, outside of Apollo After School?
Outside of Apollo, I enjoy substitute teaching on the days I can, and also love to read books; I hope to join a book club locally or online someday!
14. How do you spend your summer breaks?
I like to spend my summer working at a summer camp and spending more time with my family.
15. Star Wars, Star Trek, or they’re both lame?
Star Wars! I’ve never watched Star Trek, but I loved the Star Wars movies.
16. What do you like most about working with Apollo?
Many things! The kids are wonderful, the staff is amazing, and being a part of such a great program is very rewarding. Being able to make a difference and help the students in whatever way I can is a fulfilling experience and Apollo allows me to utilize my skills and assets effectively.