We’re Back!

January 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Development | Leave a comment

We’re back! The AmeriCorps members have returned to Virginia after traveling home for the holidays. It was wonderful to spend time with friends and family, but it feels good to be back. I am excited for classes to begin again, especially after learning so many lessons last session. Here are a few things I learned . . .

I tend to talk too fast and this is a big issue when teaching beginners a new language. Thankfully, by the end of the session, I had learned how to slow down.

When students are speaking to each other in English, let them talk. Departing from the lesson plan to allow students to engage in conversations is almost always more valuable than the lesson I had planned.

My students love chocolate . . . to the point that I’m worried someday they might become completely dependent on it. But in all seriousness, it can be a great way to motivate my most reserved learners to step out of their comfort zone and speak up.

The bonds formed between classmates across language barriers, students teaching fellow students, and watching students gain confidence in their speaking ability are the most amazing scenes to witness. It motivates me to be the best teacher I can be.

Maybe these seem obvious to you, but they weren’t to me when I started teaching in the fall; or maybe you have yet to learn these lessons, and in that case, you have much to look forward to.

– Courtney Pergal, AmeriCorps Instructor


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