Meet a “Helping Man” – Mr. Charles Wang

Mr.Wang helps Luisa Gramajo and Yesenia Perez and with math.

     Many teachers dedicate their lives to their students. One extraordinary example is Mr. Charles Wang.
     Mr. Wang is an ESOL teacher of math at Montgomery Blair High School. He has been teaching different courses at Blair for seven years, but now he is teaching math. Mr. Wang has many students that he sees in his classes every day, but he has many more students he sees before school during lunch, and after school every day.
     Most teachers help students outside of class, but not many spend as much time working with students as Mr. Wang. “Mr. Wang has always been helping me, either in lunch time, after school or, in the morning,” Maria Hernandez said.
“I help students because as a teacher I feel it is our responsibility to help students,” Mr. Wang said.
     Mr. Wang uses many strategies to help students to understand their homework, especially in the math subject. “ I try to explain difficult concepts, either in English, math, history, or science so, that they get it to understand. If they do not understand one way, I have to think of a different way for them to understand it,” Mr. Wang said. “ I think it is also very important to be patient. You have to be nice and you have to be friendly,” he added.
     Students appreciate the work and the time he spends helping them. “ When I first got to this country, my English level was really poor, Mr. Wang helped me to overcome my fear of speaking English and he helped me to practice,” Krislie Perez said.
     Mr. Wang has many qualities that can describe his personality. “Mr. Wang is a very helpful teacher, very patient and kind. His qualities are the ones that make him different from other people,” Quyen Ha said. “I know it is very difficult for ESOL students to learn very difficult things and, if teachers cannot spend time to help them, the students will not do their homework,” Mr. Wang added.
     “He cares about us, he is always asking about our grades. He also helped me to pass the Maryland Functional Math Test,” Luis Martinez said. “He spend most of his time working with me in order to pass the test. Because of his help, I passed the difficult test.”
     Mr. Wang also helps the students who get into problems. He cares about them and spends a lot of time with them. He listens to their problems and he tries to help them to solve it. “ I think it just important for teachers in general, not just myself, to give the students an idea that they can succeed, that they can do well and show them that you care. I think that if you show them that you care, they will do better,” Mr. Wang said.
     He also speaks other languages, Chinese and Spanish. “ I learned to speak Chinese by conversations with my parents, but after I graduated from college I went to China to learn how to read and write,” Mr. Wang said. He also studied Spanish in middle school for two years. “I was not very good at it so I stopped,” Mr. Wang said. Now his Spanish is very good because he teaches ESOL level one and most of his students speak Spanish. “They just come to school only speaking Spanish, so for me to communicate with them I have to know some Spanish,” Mr. Wang said.
     He uses these skills to teach and improve the students understanding in the courses. “I remember the first time I came to the U. S. A. I did not know how to do my homework and he helped me out, he spoke in Chinese to explain [it to] me and he also helped me to translate some words that were very difficult for me to understand,” Quyen Ha said.
     “He doesn’t discriminate against anybody. He uses his Spanish skills even though it is not his first language. But he tries and we understand him very clearly,” Maria Hernandez said.
     For some ESOL students is very difficult to get involved in different activities inside the school because of their language or they feel afraid of other people. Therefore Mr. Wang has made different activities so the students can have fun with other students.
     Mr. Wang helped Mr. Alcoba to start a soccer team and, when Mr. Alcoba left, Mr. Wang continued with the team. “I just continued do it, because it was social success and a lot of people, especially ESOL students, were very interested. I felt that was important to continue the program even though Mr. Alcoba left,” Mr. Wang said.
     Last year Mr. Wang has also made a girls’ soccer team that was part of the Montgomery County Soccer League. “To me Mr. Wang is a very special person. He helped us to register for the soccer team,” Camila Silva said. Also Mr. Wang became the coach of the team. “He is a very respectful man and also friendly. He was a good coach who would support us at any circumstance,” she added.
     Mr. Wang also continued an indoor soccer league that Mr. Alcoba started. For some ESOL students it is very difficult when they come to school for the first time. Especially when they don’t know anybody, it is hard to get involved in any activity and to adapt in the school. “When I first came here I felt bored and then when Mr. Wang started the indoor soccer I became more interested in the school. And that helped me to have fun and I also met new people,” Alex Alvarado said.
     Mr. Wang also started the Chinese Club. “ The Chinese Club I started by default because when I first came here I thought I was the only Chinese teacher in the school,” Mr. Wang said.
     Aside from the fact that he gets along with students, he also gets along with his colleagues. “ He is a very friendly colleague and always helps when we need it,” Ms. Bohorquez said. “ He also helped me in the International Club. He worked as a photographer,” she added. He shared the pictures with students in the show.
     In the future Mr. Wang would like to become may be a principal, or a ESOL resource teacher. “Maybe I will and maybe I won’t because I like working with students. If I become a principal or resource teacher, I won’t help them as much,” Mr. Wang said. “ If Mr. Wang would become a resource teacher or principal, that will be great because he will do his best for improve the education of the students special for ESOL students,” Gaby Ticas said.
© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2004 (This page was created by Yesika, Kerry, and Gaby)