|Fernando Moreno is an ESOL Counselor|
By Maria Torres
Mr. Moreno is an ESOL counselor for Montgomery Blair H.S. and other schools. He is from Spain. In 1986 he came to this country to get a better future like everybody else that came from other countries.
When he was in Spain, he studied English but did not learn too much. His first job in this country was being Santa Claus in a store called Zodiac. It was a very nice job for him because he did not know English and he did not have to talk, just to say, “Ho, Ho, Ho…” “I really enjoyed this experience,” Mr. Moreno said.
Mr. Moreno has his degree from Spain in psychology, but he had to study English to be able to do that work in the U.S. To learn more English he first went to a school called Sans, but it was too expensive for him. The English that he knows today is because he watched TV. Also he went to a child center to help kids of age 3-4 years old. This helped him learn English, too. One more thing is he liked to read books by himself. Now Mr. Moreno understands English very well but he says he cannot pronounce very well.
Mr. Moreno enjoys working in schools because he likes helping students from other countries. It is very interesting for him and besides he knows about the many different problems that they have coming to a new country because he had many of them himself.
Mr. Moreno teaches kids in elementary schools and high schools how to play chess because chess helps him with counseling the students. “Teaching kids to play chess gives the opportunity to challenge critical thinking,” he said. He also says that chess helps kids learn about the importance of making good decisions.
In his country he never was a champion at playing chess. “I wasn’t a very good chess player, but I enjoyed playing chess,” he said.
Francisco Inestroza is a student who got help from Mr. Moreno. “I traveled many different places with him and he taught me how to be in a chess competition,” Francisco said.
Francisco said that he has finished all of his community service hours because he was helping the students who were learning chess in the chess club. “Mr. Moreno taught me how to be a teacher,” he said.
Many students think that Mr. Moreno is a very nice person. “He helps students with college problems, like provides them with information about how to apply for college. He especially helps international students,” said senior Yudi Rodriguez.
Mr. Moreno likes to work in schools because he knows that a lot of students need his help. He can help them and he can encourage them to go to continue studying after high school.