Spotlight: Dr. Tsoi

Dr. Tsoi demonstrating a reaction experiment in her Chemistry class.
Dr. Tsoi demonstrating a reaction experiment in her Chemistry class.
Courtesy to Mai Yin Tsoi Thigpen

Mai Yin Tsoi Thigpen, or Dr. Tsoi, is a chemistry teacher who started working at Mill Creek part time back in 2021 and started full time in 2022. In total, she has been teaching for 23 years.

She has a masters degree and is Broadfield certified, Tsoi explained, “So actually by the state of Georgia, I’m allowed to teach any science class. So far I’ve taught biology and physics along with some oceanography and some astronomy.” A degree in secondary Broadfield science educations allows future teachers to teach a variety of science classes. Tsoi focuses on teaching chemistry, a branch of natural science, she explains, “My masters degree is in chemistry, so it’s my love. I love it.”

She first started teaching in Washington, D.C. Right after she graduated from college. Later she moved to Atlanta, teaching at Holy Innocents Episcopal School. During this time she applied and got in to Georgia Tech for a year. She explained, “I was dating a guy and one day, he’s like, ‘You know what? I wouldn’t even bother applying to Georgia Tech. You wouldn’t get in. You’re not smart enough.’ I said, ‘Oh really?’ So randomly, I applied and I got in. So I broke up with the guy.” After that, she went to UGA for her PhD. When asked why she chose Mill Creek, Dr. Tsoi explained, “Well, the short answer is because my daughter’s here. But now I wouldn’t go anywhere else because I’ve been here and its just like a family tree. I love this place.”

Something she said she always enjoyed was helping others, “When I started teaching, and even if I wasn’t teaching, even in graduate school, I was always tutoring others,” Tsoi continued, “I enjoy that process of helping different people get to their learning, at whatever speed and whatever method whether it be using an index card and flipping it or whether its using using a silly analogy like Moletown or jumping up on this table to show electrons relaxing, whatever it takes to get to different people and that creativity to me is fun.” She believes is giving students all the chances she possibly can. Whether it be giving students unlimited retakes on a quiz to making a game out of a lecture, “I like giving my students chances. That’s one of the reasons why I let students retake quizzes and redo homework, because in the end, I just care whether my students learn it by the end of the semester.”

Many teachers wish only the best for students as they grow, however Dr. Tsoi goes above and beyond for her students. Tsoi explains, “I hope for students to be able to think critically. I think its important in this world. That kids don’t just take anything for granted,” Tsoi continued, “School is not for everybody. And I get that. I’m even at the point where college isn’t either.  What I want is for students in general, is to be able to take advantage of any opportunity that comes by. The opportunities for each person is always going to be different depending on their life, their family, their environment, where they are, where they come from, where to go.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Mill Creek Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *