By David Lipschitz, Adult Education Tutor
I have been hanging around Guadalupe School for the last 13 years, and I teach the Tuesday group. With this many years at Guadalupe under my belt, I still feel the same excitement and enthusiasm for coming to Guadalupe as I did 13 years ago (despite the School moving north and my 20 block bike ride when I miss the bus!)
Guadalupe is a unique experience where we can be aware of the problems and difficulties many other people face, all based on language, communication and their status in another country. It’s a problem-solving place where we can help our students learn English even though they have a job they need to spend so much time doing, families to take care of the rest of the time, and all the hoops to jump through dealing with issues of their legal status in the country.
Throughout the years of tutoring, I have always had great students who have shown a willingness to learn and work hard during class. I like the small groups so we can get to know each other and learn about the things we all do. We have a fun and animated class and humor plays an important role. Trying to make students feel comfortable at the School and in the group and making sure everyone is included is also important.
I like to add humor to the lesson. First, because I like humor, and second, to see if the students get it – which I feel is an important aspect of their learning a different language.
It’s also important that all students are challenged in the class to improve their English proficiency, and the skill of the tutor is having everyone progressing according to their abilities. Impromptu testing of each student by the tutor is important for the tutor to gain insight into how the students are doing and if they need to work more on something.
I feel grateful to the staff at Guadalupe for holding things together in the face of oftentimes arduous situations, and for giving us tutors the opportunity to be of service and benefit from being there. I sometimes wonder who is benefiting more, the tutors or the students!