I volunteer teach a course at a foundation that has a training program for women (the CAPTA program at Calicanto). I love this job. The women I get to teach are in the process of reinventing themselves. For the first time in their lives they are doing something that is just for them and they are seeing the possibility of a better life for themselves and for their children. It's inspiring. For some of them, the idea of speaking English seems impossible, but they try. In fact, they work hard (some of these women really struggle). They are in the process of believing in themselves (maybe for the first time in their lives) and they have brand new confidence and it is so fresh and optimistic; I think it works better than old confidence.
I was thinking today, how obviously, there's not enough time to teach them an entire language (the course is only seven weeks). But that they really do learn a lot, and it's because they are in this moment of reinvention. They really give themselves the opportunity to try. They are vulnerable in so many ways and I think this makes them better students. They also help each other. In no other regular class that I teach, is cooperative learning as effective as it is with these women. They work together and support each other. They aren't afraid to try, and they work well together. Can you imagine a more ideal group of students?
|giving some pronunciation help (well, at least I hope that's what I'm doing)|