As we are nearing the end of the semester, I’ve been reflecting a lot about what I have gained this semester from the class and what I may have shared with the students and teachers. For me personally, helping with the religion class has allowed me to use Spanish for an additional two hours a week, outside of the classroom, in a real-life setting, building upon all of the Spanish that I learned and used while I spent the first part of this year in Spain. Though I don’t speak Spanish as much as I did in Spain, the class, for me, has been a comfortable setting for me to continue to use it. Furthermore, I’ve gotten to know many of the adults and kids from the Latino Ministry at St. John’s.
For the students, I hope that they have grown to feel more comfortable with me, too. It seems like they have- last week Maestra Patty wasn’t able to make it to class due to the snow so we had an substitute teacher, but I think it was good that I was there to be a familiar, friendly face for them. I also hope that I have been an example to them and that they enjoy coming to religion class on Saturday mornings.
I am very thankful that I have gotten this opportunity to serve the community in this way. Though I believe I would have done it anyway, SPAN 232 really pushed me to take the initiative and assist the class, as well as make sure I came every week, even though some of those Saturday mornings were harder than others. I recently found out that the Spanish-speaking priest at St. John’s will be leaving at the end of next semester and that the Latino ministry will therefore also be leaving. Though it seems like they will have a new church to go to in the area and that I still may be able to help, I am glad that I took advantage of this chance while I could. I truly have become more confident in my Spanish-speaking abilities as well as a more active member in my community and I am very grateful.