Elizabeth Keane

English teacher Joyce Kim has been teaching at Prospect for four years now, and this was her first year as the Teaching and Learning Facilitator. She attended a multitude of workshops surrounding racial equity, compiling that information into a 3-hour-long workshop for the staff to attend in February. Kim felt that this was necessary to combat issues such as students using the N-word and general ignorance of racial issues.

“[Equity means] that every kid can walk through Prospect’s doors and be successful and thrive … just as much as a kid who looks different [than them],” Kim said.

Furthermore, Kim, accompanied by a few of her colleagues, showed the movie “The Hate U Give” to this year’s junior class, a movie that deals with ideas of police brutality and racism. Following the viewing, Kim led a discussion where students could share their own experiences.

“If we want a change of culture, it has to [come from the] students; it can’t be adults,” Kim said. “ … [Seniors modeling positive behavior] have so much more power than parents or teachers.”

Senior Evelyn Burkhard, who had Kim for Honors Written and Oral Communication and again for College Composition first semester, feels that Kim is extremely caring and understanding with all of her students. She specifically recalled a time where she and Kim were discussing Burkhard’s future plans of becoming a biology teacher. 

“I’ve never had a teacher who believes as much in me as [Kim],” Burkhard said. 

However, Kim is very humble — she “doesn’t know how to take compliments,” and she sees herself as being on the same level as everyone around her. 

“I look at my classroom as if I’m learning with [them] … we become really close and [I’m] able to be super vulnerable with my students,” Kim said.