I just love it.
It really does give me something to look forward to during the week.
During the orientation this summer the Coordinator for the tutoring program told me that if there were days when I had a rough day, after a session my outlook would be completely turned around.
She was right!
I have worked with the English Language Learner since August of this year and I am so pleased to see such growth in J. She laughs more, she attempts more English, she smiles more, it’s just so heartwarming to be a part of.
One of the many things I enjoy about it is the flexibility it affords me (because it really does make me feel like a teacher). We have the choice to do different activities each session. Sometimes J writes sentences from a list of vocabulary words (in different tenses – present/past/present participle), sometimes she reads lessons from a workbook assigned from the organization, sometimes I have fun activities for her to do (last month we completed a few Mad Libs. Where we were tutoring there was another event going on and it was quite loud and distracting for us to work, but we had no other place. The Mad Libs came in handy because we got to discuss adjectives, nouns, adverbs, etc.) We always discuss things and I make sure to ask her what/if any questions she has with anything we do each session.
For example, tonight we started Lesson 7 in the workbook assigned from the tutoring organization. She’s starting to practice words ending in “ang/ing/ank/ink”, etc. And she noticed a pattern with “rang, ring, rung” and “sang, sing, sung” – I’m excited that she asks questions as she needs to and just doesn’t smile as if she understands when she really might not. I feel that too shows how much her confidence is growing.
At times we still have a language barrier between us, but I know enough Spanish to communicate with her the very basics needed. I only communicate with her in Spanish in dire emergencies when I know that she doesn’t understand what she just read (as I can tell by her expression or her body language). She actually understands more English than she gives herself credit for. As I see her confidence increasing these last few months I know there are great things in store for her. I’m so excited to be a part of it!