For Vince Robinson, a teacher at District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, Grace Zhang was everything he could ask for in a volunteer instructor. “Grace and I have been working together for about a year. I do remember our first encounter; her instructional skills and abilities to interact with the class were impressive,” Mr. Robinson told Saadia Oulamine, Volunteer Programs Coordinator for the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy.
Grace Zhang is currently instructing GED® classes with the College Career Readiness (CCR) Department of District 1199C. The adult GED® classes consist of learners in need of improving their skills in basic mathematics. The adults she works with have a fundamental working knowledge of basic mathematics, however, through diagnostic instruction; it has become evident that computations involving areas such as percentages, decimals, fractions, long division, algebra and geometry require more detailed instruction.
“Grace has demonstrated very effective interpersonal skills when instructing our student individually. Students who have worked one-on-one with Grace have shown remarkable math skill improvement,” said Mr. Robinson. Beyond their academic skill set, Grace has shown the ability to motivate her students to aspire toward excelling. Students even request to work with Grace.
Mr. Robinson recalls one particular occasion when he was called into an emergency meeting. “Grace instructed the entire class for over the first hour. This, for a number of reasons, was a highly impressive undertaking on her part. This particular evening class was very diverse in age, academic skill level, temperament, gender and maturity.” At that time, Grace was still relatively new to the class. After leaving the meeting, Mr. Robinson remembers entering the classroom to see everyone engaged in their work as Grace walked around from table to table assisting students as needed.
The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy salutes dedicated instructors and tutors like Mr. Robinson and Grace Zhang whose drive to make a difference inspires and motivates their students. Read Grace’s story here.