Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that prepares kids for the ever-changing world of the future. Our team of educators have a diverse background of experience on the cutting edge of teaching and learning, whether they’ve worked in brick and mortar schools or dynamic online environments. In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the amazing educators behind Prisma.
Cindy Wong is a mentor coach in Prisma’s MIddle School Program who started in the 21-22 school year.
“Cindy is AMAZING! I’m so blown away by her accommodations, reprioritizing Parker’s to do lists, and always providing tons of encouragement. I’m knocked off my socks everytime I overhear her doing anything, really.” -Priscilla W., Prisma Parent
Where are you based?
I’m based in Houston, Texas, but will always consider myself a Californian! I moved to Houston in 2020 when housing prices and interest rates were low - I’m always looking for a good deal! I enjoy Houston, but absolutely miss the mountains, beaches, and theme parks of the Golden State. I visit California twice a year since my family’s there!
Tell us a little bit about your background in education prior to joining Prisma.
Out of college, I tutored at a couple of nonprofits for two years and while in school for my science teaching credential, I became a substitute teacher to help pay my way through college. I also coached two varsity high school teams: girls’ tennis and co-ed badminton, for 3 years. After that, I taught 8th grade science for 4 years, and earned my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, before shifting gears to Prisma!
What is your favorite part about your role at Prisma?
Having a cohort of ~20 kids is absolutely amazing; I love that I can truly get to know my kids! I’ve always been one to advocate for building strong relationships with my learners, and the best way to do that is by actually getting to know them: their pets, their family, their interests, their strengths AND areas of improvement. All these are fundamental in allowing me to coach my learners and see them thrive! My kids are my favorite part of the day; they bring so much joy and fun to my life!
You’re well-known for your ability to lead a great live workshop! What are your top strategies for engaging virtual facilitation?
Honestly, my strategy is to have fun! Kind, positive energy is infectious. When you’re having fun and inviting others to do the same, it makes everyone more comfortable and confident. Kids (and anyone, really) are more likely to engage if they feel heard and welcomed. When you’re more confident, you’re more likely to participate, take risks, and trust yourself and your capabilities. As a coach, it’s also important to read the room and meet kids where they’re at. Let kids be who they are and they’ll open up on their own terms.
If you could pick one skill that all kids should master to prepare for the world of the future, what would it be and why?
Setting goals and following through with them. This is such a life-long practice that can be applied to anything! Goal-setting can look different for each person, but the satisfaction of seeing progress and reaching a goal is one of the best forms of intrinsic motivation.
What do you like to learn about, or what is something new you learned recently?
I love learning! I always find myself going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole at 2 AM. Currently, I’m learning Spanish through Duolingo and am proud of how far I’ve come. I had my first-born son at the end of 2022, and since he’s half Mexican and half Asian, my husband and I have decided that he’ll be trilingual. I have to learn Spanish so I can understand him when he thinks he’s having secret conversations with his dad! All jokes aside, I’m excited to be proficient in Spanish so I can better communicate with others. I learned through the Duolingo app that Spanish is the official language of 20 countries! My husband and I love to travel, so I’m sure it’ll come in handy for me soon enough.