Kristine Chung, who teaches English Honors, college prep, and an advanced reading class has been a teacher for nine years. She attended Cal State Fullerton with full intentions to become an English teacher.
“I went into college and came out of college knowing I was going to teach and started teaching right away.”
Chung did not grow up with the best home life, but her English teachers supported her. “They helped me keep a good head on my shoulders,” she said. Because of them, she knew she wanted to teach. “I wanted to give back.”
Although Chung is still a young teacher, she is passionate about her career and goes to great lengths for it. She was recently hired as a fitness instructor, but turned it down to teach.
For anyone, even a teacher, coming to a new school can be hard. “It takes time to adjust,” Chung said. “But the kids are sweet, the staff is supportive. It’s a beautiful campus.”
Like any English teacher, she makes sure her students are reading books; however, she makes sure they enjoy them. “To see [students] light up because they’re reading, or to get them to see their life in a different perspective because they’ve read a book, that’s what English should be about.”
Her favorite thing about being a teacher is that she can help make a difference in this world, maybe without even realizing it at the time.
“You think you’re helping everyone, but once in awhile, you get kids that come and say ‘Thank you’,” Chung said about students who come back after years. “That shows that the effort I put in day in and day out is helping somebody. To know that I’m helping, they might not show it that day or that year, but to know that I’m making a difference in someone’s life, is why I teach.”
Chung became a teacher because she wanted to shape the world, not because she had to.
“I don’t drink caffeine, I don’t know how I get up at four in the morning, or how I’m able to stay until six. Maybe it’s an intrinsic motivation,” Chung said. “I know I’m doing it for the students. Whatever I can do to ensure that the next generation is going to be just a little bit better, I’ll do it.”