Highlight on Mrs. Kim


Linett Mata

Mrs. Kim teaching one of her classes.

For the past 12 years, Taft has been fortunate to have Mrs. Kim teach at Taft. If you are not familiar with Mrs. Kim then you are about to find out. Mrs. Kim teaches both Geometry and Algebra 2, as well as Korean. Before working at Taft, she used to live in South Korea up until middle school. Once she left South Korea with her family they immigrated to Guam, and then California. If she had not left Korea, she would have become a Korean literature teacher, since she enjoys reading and writing.

 As a kid, Mrs. Kim always wanted to become a teacher. After college, she went to work as an accountant but knew she wanted to work in the education field. Afterward, she left her accounting job and pursued her teaching career. When asked if there were difficulties in becoming a teacher, she said, “I was a full-time student while also working a full-time job until I became a teacher. Also, because I’m not a native English speaker, finishing my education all the way until I got my master’s degree was difficult. As hard as it was, I am glad I chose this path and have no regrets.” Being an immigrant and English not being her first language it did not stop her from pursuing her dream. She decided to go to graduate school to get her master’s degree in education, then started teaching at public schools and now teaches at Taft.

When becoming a teacher, she wanted to teach high schoolers because they are old enough to “take critical feedback and be responsible for their own decisions”. The other reason was that high school is such an important part of a teenager’s life and she wants to be part of this important time of their life to make a positive impact. 

Mrs. Kim made the choice of teaching in the math department because “It’s hard to deny the fact that math is everywhere. Life cannot run without math. It teaches you how to think logically and become a rational person.” She believes that math is useful for our lives in the future and wants her students to know that these skills are necessary. 

When working here at Taft, Korean was a language offered as part of the selective classes, but the Korean teacher at the time left to Paris during the middle of the year. The school asked Mrs. Kim if she could be a permanent teacher until they found a new teacher. As time went on Mrs. Kim took on the role of being the Korean teacher, now offering four levels of Korean instead of two, which was the only level they offered before Mrs. Kim expanded the Korean Program. She has loved teaching Korean because it is a way for her to share her culture and heritage with students. As much as she enjoys teaching Korean, she does hope the school can hire one or two teachers because it can help expand the program and help her as well since she teaches all four levels of Korean. Most students also do not know that Taft offers Korean as a language, so she hopes it can receive more recognition, which will help provide resources for the students. Yes, Korean may seem intimidating or difficult to learn, but Mrs. Kim has many ways of making it easy to understand and fun to learn.

Throughout her years of teaching at Taft Mrs. Kim has enjoyed her time being able to work with the students, helping them develop skills to benefit them in the future. Even if it means having to stay extra hours at school and waking up early in the morning. Consider joining Korean Class or Korean Club if you want to learn a new language or culture. Mrs. Kim is always welcoming to new students, and if you ever have her as your teacher you won’t regret it.