Volunteer Teaching I volunteered to teach conversation english at the International Center in New York City. I began teaching at the center in January of 2011 and taught until it closed on April of 2012. Unfortunately, because of increased rents, the Center is now closed to the disappointment of both volunteers and students. They continue to look for another venue where the rents will be affordable.
I had taught Special Ed in Maryland, and thoroughly enjoyed the young students. Nothing gave me greater pleasure than seeing their wonderful faces light up with joy when they had succeeded and accomplished a lesson or task. Now that I am a senior citizen with time on my hands, I wanted to do something that would include my teaching experience.
My students, at the center, were both male and female and comparatively young. Ranging in ages from 25 to 35. Most of my students were from Korea, japan
, Venezuela, China, Israel and Brazil. They were all motivated for different reasons. Punctuation and vocabulary were their primary interests. Some spoke very little english and some spoke english, though not fluent, which they had learned in their native country.
Once they felt comfortable grasping conversation english, some then went back to their native country to attend a University or seek work. Some went on to take courses in english grammar and business english
. This was essential since they were seeking jobs here in America. Since I did not feel adequate enough to teach them these courses, I then decided to enroll in an online course
for these subjects.
Though I love teaching conversation english, I needed to further my teaching ability. The grammar used in written language and the grammar used in conversational language is often quite different. What may be acceptable and normal in conversational language is often considered unacceptable in written language.
I enjoyed teaching all of my students. I learned how very much we are all alike, no matter, where we were born or what our individual heritage is.
Teaching individually, I was able to learn about their culture, their life in their native country and the reasons they decided to stay here in America or return to their native country. The majority of my students loved our country and wanted to stay. Some found it too difficult and too expensive, especially in New York, where the pace is very hectic and the people talk very rapidly.
My students continue to correspond with me from their native country keeping me updated on their life. I get together with my students who have remained in New York every few months. Through e-mails, I keep updated with their life and progress. I still afford them help whenever they need it. Mostly they need help with their resumes and correspondence.
I have taught conversation english to individual students only, never in a group setting. I would like to do both. Teaching individually, you gain a very close connection with your student. Though I think group teaching can be more motivating for the teacher as there are dynamics that can be used in a class that cannot be used teaching individually. Each has certain benefits.
Since taking my courses in Grammar, etc. online, I have been amazed at how much I needed to know and learn. The lessons were challenging and I found that I enjoyed the challenge and the intensity needed from me to absorb what I was learning. I had the advantage of a very good tutor, Karl, who corrected and made suggestions on each Unit, which helped put many issues in perspective.
I was astonished by the volume of english grammar I needed to learn. My english grammar was very basic, but I feel confident in teaching this course, and will take advantage of each and every Unit that has advanced my knowledge and ways of teaching the course.
I will soon be able to start my course in Business english, and I am excited about learning that course. Many of the students I had for conversation needed to learn Business english as they were searching jobs in the united states
. I will continue to teach conversation english along with grammar and Business english.
In conclusion, I have enjoyed the challenges of teaching and I intend to teach as long as my body and mind hold up. So far, both are fine!!