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.
Gwyn Gaafary is a Mentor Coach in Prisma’s Middle School Program who started in the 22-23 school year.
“Gwyn has been so wonderful to Jack. She is so relatable and authentic and really kind. She immediately bonded with him, and has really given him the freedom to be creative and take risks. She has made education and the whole "school experience" a safe place for him. With her support and encouragement, she has really made him thrive.” -Wren W., Prisma parent
Where are you based?
I currently live in Greenville, South Carolina with my husband and two boys! It’s a smallish city that’s very close to wonderful hikes in the Appalachian Mountains and a short drive to the beach. My family is from Surfside Beach, South Carolina and I love to take my boys to the ocean and watch them splash around like I did as a kid.
Tell us a little bit about your background in education prior to joining Prisma.
I didn’t initially want to be a teacher, but my job in graduate school, teaching science labs, proved to me it was my calling! I switched degrees to obtain my Masters in Education.
Prior to working at Prisma, I was a middle school teacher for 8 years at a public STEM Magnet School. I am passionate about STEM education and was lucky enough to teach math, science and engineering! I also taught a year at the NASA Challenger Center, where I led space simulations and got to wear a cool space suit!
What is your favorite part about your role at Prisma?
My favorite part about being a mentor coach is the relationships I have with my learners. I love how close a bond I have with every single one of them, while they are all completely different people with unique interests and passions. As cliche as it sounds, they teach me as much as I teach them.
I also get to know their parents super well, which is something I never experienced in public school! We really operate like one big team between parent, learner, and coach, to make sure their child gets the best education experience possible.
In addition to being an amazing mentor coach, you’re also an incredible musician! Tell us a little about that and how you’ve brought your talents to Prisma.
Both of my parents are professional musicians, so I grew up learning piano and voice with my brother. We formed a band in college together, and also have solo music careers. My love of music stems from the cathartic process of writing lyrics with guitar and voice, and before having kids, I toured and played lots of live shows!
Now, I bring my love of music to Prisma with my Songwriting Enrichment! We learn how to make loops through Soundtrap (similar to LogicPro or GarageBand), distribute music online, and write a full song based on feedback.
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?
The ability to accept “failure” as an opportunity for growth! There will be moments where a project doesn’t go as planned, but the real learning happens when you reflect upon what needs to change for you to move forward. Making mistakes is a part of life, and how you interpret those mistakes can make or break your outlook on life, professionally and personally!
What do you like to learn about, or what is something new you learned recently?
I am always curious about new ways to record music. I have a newish keyboard called the Roli Seaboard that I love to spend time with and learn how to play and record with. The keys are like a piano, but soft, so you can add vibrato and dynamics to each key you press. It’s a pretty incredible piece of engineering! So far, I have only messed around with it enough to learn the Game of Thrones theme song in an epic cello voice.