For this installment of the A Grade Ahead’s Employee Spotlight Series, we’d like to introduce you to Alaya London. Alaya is an English Teacher at the Rocky Hill and Manchester, Connecticut A Grade Ahead locations. She just started her 4th year with A Grade Ahead in June of 2019, and she is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she majored in Moral and Ethical Behavior and obtained a bachelor’s degree in General Studies. She also recently received a Copyediting Certificate from the University of Southern California, San Diego.
We thought it would be fun to ask Alaya a few questions to get to know her better, as she is a vitally important part of the A Grade Ahead team!
Read More About Our Teacher, Alaya London, in this Employee Spotlight
Why did you choose to obtain a copyediting certificate?
I obtained the copyediting certificate so that I can work with older students in high school or college with homework and papers, or so that I can to work as a publishing copyeditor.
What is your favorite subject in school and why?
English – literature in particular – has always been my favorite subject. I also loved Latin in school because it gave me so much insight into the origin of English words.
What do you like to do for fun?
I read novels and nonfiction. I also travel to visit my nine grandchildren.
What is your favorite book? Favorite children’s book?
My favorite children’s book is Harold and the Purple Crayon, written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson. Two of my other favorite books are All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Why?
I would go to Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. I went there once before. A strenuous uphill hike rewards you with a spectacular view of the back of Mt. Washington. It is not frequented by tourists, so it offers the private experience of a true wonderland. March or April is the best time to go.
What historical figure do you think is a good role model for kids? Why?
Helen Keller is a good role model for kids. She overcame serious limitations and disabilities to turn her life toward the good of others.
What is your favorite holiday? Why?
My favorite holiday is Veteran’s Day. It reminds me to take time to honor those who died for our country. When I visited Arlington Cemetery, I was overwhelmed by the rows upon rows of crosses, as well as by the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
What is the best advice for students who want to excel in school?
My best advice for students who want to excel in school is to learn to think analytically and master the basics of language and writing. You need to be able to communicate your great ideas!
Describe one teacher or educational experience that changed your life.
George Evica, a professor at the University of Hartford, changed my life. I was taking college English courses while still a student in high school, and after my first semester with him, he had enough confidence in me to recommend that I take a senior-level play-writing course. That course allowed me to express my creativity and begin to understand my talent.
What is your favorite educational or motivational quote?
My favorite motivational quote is an old Chinese proverb: “Righteous persistence brings reward.”
Did we forget anything? What else about you would our readers want to know?
I would love for kids to know what life and learning were like sixty years ago, before everyone had computers. For example, I had a manual typewriter, we used “pay” telephones when we were away from home, and we had to go to libraries or use encyclopedias to do research!
Interested in learning more about the math or English curriculum that Alaya teaches? You can learn more about our programs here and even request a sample of our material! You can also read more of our blog posts, or get to know some our other staff. What else would you like to know in our next Employee Spotlight? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Author: Emily Karth, Program Coordinator at A Grade Ahead