Photo Courtesy: Mr. Chan
Teaching history isn’t just about the facts, such as when and where an event took place and who the key players were. Instead, a history teacher must outline the significance of each event and the overall impact it played in shaping our world today. The history teacher who champions this idea is Mr. Chan.
Mr. Chan was born in 1972 in Hong Kong. Ever since he was a child he wanted to be so many things. At the age of 5, he wanted to be a fireman, a detective when he was about 9, a lawyer, an economist, and a missionary when he was in high school. When he was 11, his family immigrated to the U.S. to pursue the American dream.
As a child, Mr. Chan faced several challenges. His family was poor with his mom working a minimum-wage job to support his family. Along with his sister, Mr. Chan persisted through his early difficulties and figured things out on his own.
Upon entering college, Mr. Chan’s dream career changed to a teacher. As he recalls, “I’ve always liked history. I loved reading stories about wars, revolutions, and political intrigue as a kid. When it came time to decide on a major, I just listed things I liked and history fit the bill.”
Twenty years ago, Mr. Chan finally found a peaceful home at Silver Creek High School after 26 long years of hard work. The most useful career advice he gives to students is to learn from experience. “Don’t be afraid to try different paths. You will learn, adjust, adapt, and discover along the way.” he says. Mr. Chan feels like he has succeeded each time a student fulfills their dreams. Furthermore, whenever a student writes or tells how he has made a difference in their lives, Mr. Chan feels extremely proud.
Mr. Chan wants to be remembered as a teacher who cares. “I’m learning just as my students are learning, about myself and about them.” he says.
Finally, Mr. Chan has proved that one can be successful if one has the determination to achieve their dreams. He has shown in his 22 years in Silver Creek that a teacher can be both an instructor and a life-changing guide to a determined student.