Volunteering in an Elementary School

By Lena Rothfarb - College 2016

 

   Volunteering as an English teacher in an elementary school was absolutely one of the most rewarding parts of my semester in Salamanca. It was a great way to get to know another part of the local community, to break up my weekly routine, and to gain a new perspective on just how hard it is to learn English! The kids were so much fun to work with, and were always excited to see me and show off their English skills.

     In the classroom, I was typically integrated into the regular lesson. So if they were working on directional/place words, I would be asked to go to the front of the room and have the kids help me navigate through a map the teacher had drawn on the board, etc. When they were working on independent work, I would circulate the room with the teacher and help correct work/answer questions.

     I never had to do any prep work, but I do think that my previous teaching experience/training was quite helpful, as I knew how to speak in front of a class, how to manage a classroom, how to correct work, etc. This is not to say that I couldn’t have been helpful had I not had this previous experience, but I believe it did make me more effective. Christina, the teacher I worked with, was very supportive, always giving me specific directions while at the same time giving me freedom to make the lesson a little more my own.