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Grace Zhang

 

Last year, Grace Zhang started assisting adult GED® class instructors after completing the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy’s Basic Tutor Training. Grace has always been interested in tutoring, but didn’t know how to do it on her own. When she found out the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy was offering tutor training and would help to place her with an organization, it was just what she had been looking for. “I hadn’t worked with adult learners before. The training made me realize the differences from tutoring kids like how to set their goals, how to help them reach those goals, and keeping them motivated. This information has become very valuable in my work today,” Grace explained.

Grace started working with Mr. Robinson and his Lower-Level GED® preparation class of 24 adults at the College Career Readiness (CCR) Department at District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund last fall. In such a big class Mr. Robinson needed help just providing attention to all of his students.  Grace remembers one of the students, a woman who seemed overwhelmed and was having trouble grasping multiplication and division. “I worked with her during class and would stay as long as she needed after class. I taught her a trick about the 9 multiplication table. She’s so much more confident now. Her understanding of math is a lot stronger, and she seems really happy to be there now. She can do problems on her own now, when she has a problem she’s not as afraid to figure it out,” Grace said.

Being an assistant teacher and tutor has made Grace more aware. “One day I was having a bad day because I missed the bus, it was raining, and I was just cranky. Someone asked how to do an order or operations problem and I think the way that I responded, my tone, was not great. One of the other students actually called me out on it and told me I wasn’t being nice.  It makes me realize what I need to work on, and how I behave really affects them and my life in general. It’s nice meeting people that can open up my world a bit. They’re here and they’re really committed to improving themselves.”

Grace’s Bio
Born and raised in Texas, Grace came to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her BA in Health & Societies. She then worked at Thomas Jefferson University for six years. Recently she decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and is now taking courses at Temple University.

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