Introducing Sang Lee

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We are delighted to introduce Sang Lee (pictured above at our annual Art Show), who will be teaching math, science and computer studies to Linden high school students this fall. Sang comes to us from the Masters of Teaching (MT) program at OISE and is expecting to earn his OCT shortly. Earlier this year, Sang spent a few months at Linden as a teacher candidate and quickly earned the respect of Linden faculty, administration, and students. Sang will be replacing Amy Stent during her maternity leave, and we are so pleased that he will be with us this year.

Linden: Apart from Linden, you have also completed a few teaching practicums at other public and independent schools in Toronto. Tell us about your overall experience at Linden compared with these schools.

Sang: My practicum experience has been amazing. I have met a diverse set of students within a variety of school settings. What has stood out the most for me at Linden is the quality of the students themselves. I have been really impressed by how Linden students take initiative without even being asked to. They will constantly ask questions, seek answers, and take a more in-depth approach to studying their course material. Students at other schools would take everything I taught at face value, without probing and asking questions. I was really struck by this difference and know that Linden’s teaching philosophy has truly inspired these girls to become confident critical thinkers and true intellectuals. As teachers, this is a truly rewarding feat.

Linden: Linden is highly regarded for its approach to teaching girls math. Tell us how you will integrate Linden’s pedagogy in your math classes.

Sang: When it comes to teaching girls math, inspiring them with confidence is a great first step. I always discuss female role models with them, and tell them the story about how all male mathematicians had an incorrect solution to a certain math problem, but disregarded the only female mathematician who had the correct answer. They later found out that she was indeed correct. Such examples are important in helping students gain confidence in their math skills. The other important approach to teaching math is to let the students discover the solution through logical reasoning. I first start out with an over-arching theme, which is in the form of a question, and ask students to figure out ways to find the solution. I then encourage my students to work collaboratively, and together we try out different answers, real-life scenarios, theories, and approaches to find out more. This makes math relatable, engaging, and fun for my students.

Linden: As you will be teaching high school computer studies, could you tell us a little bit more about the importance of computational skills as a core competency of the 21st century learning framework? How will you make your classes engaging for students while developing this essential skill set?

Sang: In the 21st century, known as the digital age, technology is a driving force in the common workplace. Students who take computer science will come to appreciate how useful computer science can be in any field. For instance, I had to take MatLab (coding language) for a physics minor! The computer science course is great because, not only does it teach students about programming, but the course also requires students to problem solve and think critically, especially when it comes to programming. Nowadays, coding is all about Html5 and JavaScript. For this coming school year, I will introduce students to these languages so they can acquire a sense of where the future of computing is heading. I believe that introducing students to highly practical computer science material will also help students be more engaged in the classroom. And who knows? Maybe one of our students will create their own website this coming school year, using Html5 and JavaScript.

Linden: Tell us about your interest in medicine and how you plan to share some of your background in this area with Linden girls.

Sang: Ever since I was in undergrad, my career aspiration was medicine. At the University of Toronto, I was in a highly demanding Life Sciences program. One important requirement of pre-med undergraduate studies is maintaining a high GPA to apply for medical schools in Ontario. Along with a high GPA, students must complete the MCAT (medical college admissions test) for most medical schools in Ontario (excluding Ottawa Med). I have taken the MCATs several times quite successfully. However, along my career journey, I found a path better suited for me, that brings me more joy than I could have imagined: teaching. With my experience as a pre-med student, I believe I can help prepare potential Linden doctors. I hope we can start a pre-med club at Linden. Within the club, we can discuss medical school admission statistics, solve MCAT practice problems together, and even discuss ethical issues in medicine today.

Linden: What are you most excited about as you start teaching at Linden?

Sang: I am most excited about teaching biology at Linden. Linden has a wonderful lab for classes such as biology. I am most excited about doing lab experiments and I have some experiments already in mind for the coming school year (e.g., photosynthesis race). Since I was a human biology major, I am also excited to introduce students to human physiology and  human anatomy. Hopefully, we can go further in depth on the topic of human physiology than required by the Ontario curriculum.