Teaching languages is Charlene Mastro’s passion. The Wayne native is now instructing students in the same classrooms that she learned in not long ago at .
She is finishing up a school year of teaching Spanish, English to non-native speakers and the last Italian class to be offered at the school.
Mastro studied Spanish and Italian at the University of Kansas, and earned Master degrees in the languages at the University of Kansas and at Middlebury College in Vermont, respectively.
She earned a certification to teach English as a Second Language at Drexel University.
Mastro has been teaching at Radnor since 2007.
She married her husband Kevin in 2008. Her son Joseph is 2 years old and she has another baby on the way.
What do you like most about teaching?
Mastro said she always envisioned herself as a teacher that kids would come back to visit in the years after they have graduated.
She likes the “personal relationship you can build with a student. You see how much they change and all the promise that lies ahead.”
For her students learning English, she likes to help them learn about each other and the new country they have moved to.
“I love to see the progression. I like to feel proud of my students and see all they can accomplish,” she said.
How are your English language learners unique?
Mastro’s English language learners have the advantage of being fully immersed in the language they are trying to learn.
She said the students enjoy sharing their traditions and feel comfortable talking about them in class.
“I have learned a lot from my ELL students about their cultures, food, traditions, and religions,” she said.
She said her ELL students like to work on idiomatic expressions, since they are such a large part of the English language.
If you could change anything about education, what would it be?
Mastro said she wishes there was more time for teaching, specifically more time to focus on cultures and talking about music and food and watching videos in other languages.
What do you hope your students get out of your classes?
“I hope it piques their interest to travel to other countries. They get ‘dreamy eyes’ when I talk about studying abroad. It really opens your eyes to the world,” she said.
What is the biggest challenge your students face?
First, finding the balance in their lives amongst all their activities and commitments.
Also, Mastro said she wishes there was a little less pressure on the students about which college they should go to.
“I try to encourage them that no matter where they go, it’ll be awesome.”