Though we may share the same cultural background (Korean) and though we both went to the same undergraduate college and received the same degree (UCLA, degree in economics), I have no personal affiliation with Anthony Yom. The Lincoln High school teacher was thrust from virtual obscurity to fame when news surfaced that one of his students was among only 12 in the world to pass the Advanced Placement Calculus exam with a perfect score. Even more amazing is that all 21 of Yom’s AP Calculus students passed the grueling test.
Yom stated humbly, “Most of the credit should go to the kids.”
This LA Times article tells the story about how Yom became a calculus teacher at Lincoln High, a school that challenged him to the core. It talks about how Yom took advice from more experienced teachers, how he turned his youth (he’s currently 35 but has been teaching at Lincoln since 24) into an asset, and how he went above and beyond his call of duty.
He got to know his students better, called their homes in the evening if they needed extra help, and, on his own time, offered tutoring at Lincoln on weekends and during vacations. He still does.
Inspirational teachers like this give me hope for the world.
Here’s my favorite part of the article:
Yom says he keeps getting asked if there’s some secret recipe for getting students to perform at their highest potential.
“This may sound corny, but you really have to love them,” Yom says. “You build this trust, and at that point, whatever you ask them to do, they’ll go the extra mile. The recipe is love.”