When he first joined Summerbridge as a student teacher, Kevin was itching to get in front of a classroom and teach. He had taken a few courses in education and worked a lot with children in one-on-one and small group settings, but he had never stood in front of the classroom as a teacher. During teacher training, he learned essential skills for teaching, such as classroom management and catering towards individual student needs. The experience of teaching made him feel alive, and he knew teaching was a career he wanted to pursue. Kevin felt that he was a part of something bigger than himself. Finding something that he truly believed in, he returned to the organization for multiple summers thereafter.
The Summerbridge experience is one of the main reasons why Kevin became a teacher; not only that, teaching at Summerbridge shaped and affirmed Kevin’s commitment to serve the local Hong Kong community and to fight for equity in language education. His first-hand exposure at Summerbridge to local secondary school students from underprivileged backgrounds broke down barriers for him. Although he had grown up and gone to school in Hong Kong, he went to a private international school, where interactions with local school populations were limited. Upon graduating from university, Kevin began teaching at a public primary school in Hong Kong.
A few years later, Kevin began pursuing a PhD in Literacy Education at New York University to further his goal of using educational equity to fight for social mobility and personal empowerment. His research involves discovering how young children can acquire vocabulary in a second language through educational media. In addition to his PhD studies, Kevin is an adjunct professor, teaching classes on English as a Second Language. Throughout his journey as an educator, Kevin still uses teaching tools he learned at Summerbridge, whether with his primary school students in Hong Kong or his current college students in New York. Each day, he teaches a Word of the Day, adapting it according to the interests of his students (e.g. turning them into graffiti pieces, using them as an opportunity to learn colloquial phrases outside of the textbook, etc.). Sometimes, he even teaches words in languages from around the world, in a small effort to cultivate an appreciation for cultural diversity.