As South City parents and students dive into the 2012-2013 school year, Patch is publishing a series of interviews with the district's new hires.
See Patch's interviews with El Camino High's new principal, , a new counselor at SSF High, a new physical education teacher, , El Camino High's assistant principal, , and Spruce Elementary's new principal, .
Here Patch learns more about South San Francisco High School's new social science teacher, Christina Thai.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the East Bay (Union City, specifically). I now live in Palo Alto. I love the Bay Area for its weather, its people, and its diversity.
What's your background in education?
I have a BA & MA in History from Cal State East Bay. The 2012-13 school year marks the beginning of my sixth year of teaching. I taught for one year at James Logan High School in Union City, three years at Newark Junior High School in Newark, and one year at the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District's Independent Studies Program in Mountain View.
What excites you about working in South City or South San Francisco High in
I love the sense of community at South City. Everyone is kind and helpful and the students are full of energy and creative ideas. I also really like the diversity of the school population. I think everyone's different backgrounds help create more character and personality on campus.
What are the best and toughest parts of your job?
The best part about teaching is working with innovative, young minds. Kids often see things from a different angle and though they may not always articulate what they are thinking clearly, they almost always have something of substance to say and contribute. I love seeing the students engaged and excited about learning, especially since many of them think they hate history.
One of the toughest parts of teaching is the negative political climate we're all faced with. Budget cuts are really hurting the kids and our schools. The lack of funding and support really make teaching hard because teachers are asked to accomplish "high test scores" and "proficient grades" without even the basic necessities. A lot of teachers bring in their own laptops and printers as well as supplies like paper. These things should be provided. We have a great parent community at SSFHS and they try their hardest to fundraise for their students, but more still needs to be done.
Are there any events, deadlines, or programs you want to remind students
or parents about?
I highly recommend students check out the different clubs and sports activities on campus. Just because they attend the first meeting does not meet they have to stay in the club if they decide it's not the right fit. It's a great way to meet new friends, be productive, and have fun!