Teaching ever since she was young

Teacher Feature – Ms. Judy Hong


Ms. Judy Hong hopes to inspire other students just like her professors inspired her!

While Ms. Judy Hong did her student teaching at Will C. Wood in Vacaville during the heart of the pandemic last year, this is her first year as a full-time paid teacher. In fact, this is the first job she has ever had.

She teaches sophomore English as well as seniors in ERWC (Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum), a class designed by UC Davis. ”I have always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was in kindergarten!” she said. “I loved playing ‘School’ with my friends where I was always the teacher and they were my students.” She even had a mini chalk/whiteboard and gave her ‘students’ homework.

“Throughout my educational upbringing, I noticed a lack of diversity within the teacher and staff at all of the schools that I went to,” said Ms. Hong. “In fact, I only had one Asian teacher throughout K-12 — Mrs. Ahn. I will always remember her because of how meaningful it was to me to know that she was a teacher who looked similar to me — a short, Korean lady with long black hair! I thought, ‘Wow, I could be like her when I grow up!’

In college, things changed a little. She had five different Asian professors: Dr. Lee, Dr. Seo, Dr. Komiyama, Dr. Sobredo, and Dr Lambating. “Coming from a Filipino and Korean background, I hope that I can inspire my students just like how the teachers I have mentioned inspired me,” she said.

Although she wasn’t a full-time teacher until August, Ms. Hong’s training during Distance Learning left a lot to be discovered. “My first teaching experience was done on Zoom. I didn’t really know what to expect (in person), but I wasn’t that mad about it since I was nervous teaching for the first time anyway. Zoom helped ease my anxieties in a way since I felt like I was talking to myself most of the time,” she said.

“However, I did realize the effect it had on student engagement and participation. I eventually did get to meet some of my students at Will C. Wood when schools started to slowly reopen. At that point, we were doing hybrid-learning where half of the classes were in person, if they decided to go, while the others were online. Teaching in the hybrid model was somewhat difficult because you had to keep track of different things and multitask.

“I took a lot of what I have learned in distance learning while at Will C. Wood with me to Armijo. Since I taught on Zoom, I made a lot of resources using Google Slides, Google Docs, etc. I have also grown accustomed to educational tech tools such as Edpuzzle, NoRedInk, Pear Deck, FlipGrid, etc. I definitely still use these today! Additionally, COVID-19 is taking a toll on a lot of my students here at Armijo, so I am experiencing a higher rate of absences.”

She would encourage others to teach, but only if they are sure it is what they want to do. “Don’t be afraid to ask any questions or help along the way — teacher, professor, friend, counselor, etc.,” she said.

Ms. Hong grew up and went to school locally: Foxboro Elementary (Vacaville), Golden West Middle School (Fairfield) Vanden High School (Fairfield), Sacramento State for her Bachelor’s degree, and UC Davis for her Teaching Credential & Master’s degree. Now that she’s spending so much time at Armijo, she said that she would love to see art murals on the walls of campus. “We have a lot of talented students who are great at art. Walking around campus seeing murals would be cool.”

In her spare time, she loves spending time with my dogs Jazzy and Coco, playing Apex Legends, photography, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks,” she said.