Team and Family Profiles

Jean Kang, 3rd Grade Teacher at KIPP Un Mundo Dual Language Academy

Education:

Baylor University, Bachelor of Science in Education

Hometown:

Grapevine, TX

Fun Fact:

I was born in Hollywood, in Los Angeles, California!

Years Teaching:

Currently in 2nd year

Q&A with Jean Kang

What does Team & Family mean to you?

Team & Family is essentially the backbone of everything that we do at KIPP. Team & Family is what drives us to work hard every day we come to school. When I think of my students and co-teachers as family, it motivates me to give everything that I have for the benefit of my team. Family means that we love one another unconditionally, push each other to be the best we can be, and always support and encourage one another. 

How is that playing out in your classroom?

In our classroom, I set high expectations for my students. I don’t let students settle for anything less than the best that they can be. I always tell my students that I expect great things from them because I care for them and because I believe in them. In our classroom, we enjoy encouraging each other and celebrating our successes together, but as teachers, we know we’re not always celebrating successes. Sometimes, being family means sitting together at the carpet and talking about our failures, being open about our feelings, and asking big questions. Recently, with the election, my students and I had to have a family meeting to discuss what was happening in the United States. Can you imagine a bunch of rambunctious 3rd graders sitting at the carpet having a serious discussion about politics? Well, that’s what we did. You would be surprised by the types of questions and concerns these 8 and 9-year-old students had. These students were able to take our family meeting seriously, take each other seriously, and respect each other because we are family.

What is possible for your students?

I believe that my students will one day become doctors, lawyers, actors, and teachers. I believe that my students can one day be the generation to make a change in our communities. I believe that with the right education, mentorship, and support, my students can make a difference. 

We did an activity at the beginning of the year where we discussed what we want to be when we grow up. In 3rd grade, you see a lot of students who want to become actors, veterinarians, astronauts, singers, and scientists. As adults, we find ourselves being skeptical of our students achieving these possibilities. In our classroom, we did nothing but believe in our students and their big dreams. (And reminded them to remember their 3rd grade teacher when they’ve become famous.) Sure, they may change throughout the years, but we want our students to dream BIG!

How do you work with your Un Mundo Team & Family to help you reach toward the possibility for your students?

I am so thankful for my 3rd grade team at Un Mundo. When we meet each week, we share ideas, concerns, and questions with each other. We share experiences, laugh, and encourage one another. Sometimes we discuss issues that are difficult to talk through, but we listen to one another. We understand that if we work together, our students will also work together. We set the example of kindness, cooperation, and empathy for our students. My team has provided me with the support I need to be the best fully-functioning teacher and member of our KIPP family.