Bobson Wong, a math teacher at Bayside High School, will be recognized by Math for America on Oct. 18 for outstanding achievement in influencing the teaching profession. Wong will receive Math for America’s Muller Prize for Professional Influence in Education, which comes with a $20,000 prize as well as a $5,000 grant to Bayside High School. The award is given to New York City public school teachers who are also Mathematics Teachers for America, having participated in the four-year Master Teacher Fellowship program.
Wong has spent each of the past 17 years teaching math at Bayside High School, 13 of them as a master teacher. During these years, he became a leader in the profession, securing the role of Education Specialist for the New York State Department of Education. In this role, he helps find questions for every New York State Math Regents.
Additionally, Wong serves on the New York State Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Metrics, where he undertook a thoughtful and inclusive process exploring what a degree State should stand for ensuring excellence and equity in education for every student in the state.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized for all the work I’ve done for math education over the years,” Wong said. “This award reflects all the different types of work I have done over the years.
Wong is chairman of the nominating and electing committee for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He also sits on the advisory board of the National Museum of Mathematics. In addition to teaching his students at Bayside High School, he speaks frequently on the subject of math at conferences around the country. He is also the co-author of two mathematics books: “The Math Teacher’s Toolbox”, which provides advice on teaching mathematics, and “Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide”, which is a review book for teachers. ‘algebra.
Despite Wong’s success as a math teacher, it was not the subject he originally intended to teach. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University before earning his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, he struggled to find work as a history teacher, spending time working for an advertising agency and in web design.
Wong eventually applied for the NYC Teaching Fellows program. It was during this program that he was told that there was not really a need for history teachers in the schools of the city. However, math teachers were in short supply. After taking and enjoying several math courses throughout his college career, Wong felt comfortable enough to try teaching in this area. He would go on to earn his MS Ed. in Mathematics and Adolescent Education at St. John’s University. Soon after, he received his first teaching job and hasn’t looked back since.
“Over the years, my colleagues have helped me understand that math should be taught as a language accessible to all students,” Wong said. “When we teach students how to read, write, and speak math, they build their math confidence and can use it to improve the world.”
According to Math for America President John Ewing, the Muller Prize has been awarded to a New York math teacher and a New York science teacher every year since 2018, with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic. of COVID-19. Of the estimated 1,000 master teachers in New York, applicants are selected for consideration before a winner is finally chosen. In order to be considered, a candidate must be nominated by someone through a written letter describing the work done by the candidate. This is usually done by a colleague or school principal.
In addition to Wong, the other honored teacher in the science category is Sarah Slack, science teacher at IS 223 Montauk. Both teachers will receive their awards, including the $20,000 prize, Tuesday at a reception at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at 160 Fifth Ave. The reception is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
“[Wong and Slack] are really incredibly accomplished teachers,” Ewing said. “They affect their entire profession. They lay the foundations for the next generation of mathematicians and scientists.
Math for America is a nonprofit organization that strives to build communities of math and science teachers through its teacher scholarships. Its model is based on the belief that collaboration, continuous learning and genuine respect can enable teachers to grow professionally and provide long-term career satisfaction.