By Shelby Herrod, Adult Education Tutor and Board Member
The highlight of my week is every Tuesday night when I arrive at Guadalupe School.
For the past 8 years I have been an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor in Adult Education.
I have had the joy of seeing students graduate who I was with for 5 years. Upon their graduation I was placed with a new group of adult learners; David, Elvia and Gisela.
While teaching English is the main goal of the program, I have found that developing friendships with my students is the true foundation and beauty of the volunteer work I do at Guadalupe School. In order for true learning to happen, a trusting and compassionate relationship must develop amongst the classmates and their tutor.
In that spirit, we started a pozole contest in March. The idea was for one student to bring a different type of pozole to class. I decided to kick it off and brought green chicken pozole in March and David brought a delicious shrimp pozole in April. Elvia has May and Gisela in June.
The goal of this is trifold: 1. Breaking bread with your classmates provides time for English conversation, as each student needs to present their dish. As important as learning grammar, reading and writing is for my students, they also need and want to improve their ability and confidence to converse in a social setting. Learning how to express emotions and feelings in a relaxed environment allow my students to work together and become a team. For many, learning English as an adult can feel intimidating, frustrating and at times overwhelming. David, Elvia and Gisela work full time jobs, provide for their family but have made sure learning English is a priority.
I am very proud of their accomplishments and look forward to another 4 years with them until they graduate.