by Marlee Stein
As the semester is coming to an end, I definitely feel as if it was a wonderful and rewarding experience. Although my placements started out a bit rocky, I learned a lot because I was able to work with a number of different students.
The last 5 weeks or so I worked consistently tutoring with one girl, and really created a bond. She was a very intelligent girl and helped me learn a lot of Spanish, despite her knowing very little English.
I got to work in classrooms for both 3rd, and 4th grade students, but didn’t use very much Spanish. Nonetheless I gained insight into how best to help the students with homework and learning English.
By subbing at SOAR I worked with girls of all ages and of all abilities. I even had to teach a girl who knew absolutely no English how to add fractions. It really forced me to use everything I knew in the Spanish language to explain the difficult concept clearly and properly.
This past Thursday I was subbing for some tutors that went home for the holiday and the girl I regularly tutor on Tuesday ran up to me and gave me a hug and begged that I get to work with her that day. I was shocked at the impact I had made on her. It was the first time I realized the opportunities that Spanish could provide.
I have always known I wanted to study Spanish, but until now never really knew what could be done with it other than use it to travel. Working at SOAR and Booker T. Washington not only told me an option I had but allowed me to experience it to see if that was possibly the career path I was interested in.
Up until now I felt like my Spanish classes had fallen into a lull in which it was only repetition of grammar rules learned in high school. In this class I learned more than I did in any of my other classes. Also I was finally able to apply the grammar rules that I learned in previous classes. I hope to continue and volunteer with SOAR next year, since it will be great preparation for going abroad and I think it is a wonderful program.