Clearing my schedule
The most precious thing you can give to others is time. As I get closer to my due date, I've realized in this season of life, I need to step back from giving my time to others so I can start taking care of myself. I've started to feel the weight of tiredness and anxiety when I have too much scheduled into my week. The hardest thing to step back from is volunteering at Catherine McCauley Center.
For the last 2 years, I’ve tutored adults who want to learn English and help them study for their citizenship test.
Tutoring at CMC has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. The people I’ve met are an inspiration. Most of the student’s I’ve tutored speak more than 2 languages! I’m astounded by their determination and the way they are able to learn a whole new language as an adult. Each one of them has a unique story. During the tutoring process, it’s a privilege to hear parts of their story: how they came to America, what life was like in their home country, etc. I’ve helped some of them read letters they’ve received in the mail and explained to them American pop culture. One of my favorite moments was teaching a woman from South Korea what a “western” was and pulling up the actor John Wayne on my phone. She had never heard of him!
Tutoring also helped me think about English and how complicated it actually is! Why do we say things the way we do? Why do we use certain words in a certain order? There were many times a student would ask me why something is the way it is and I would really have to think about it hard. If I couldn’t figure it out, I would go to one of the employees to see if they could help me out.
The other exciting part of volunteering was helping a few students study and prepare to receive their American citizenship! What a privilege and thrill it was for me to be part of this process! Using flash cards, I would quiz them on the history and facts they needed to know. I’d also look at the paperwork they have to fill out and help them answer any questions they have about the process. I learned so much myself! The students work so hard to be able to write and speak English and know the information required of them so they can pass the test. I loved being part of this because teaching English and helping them earn their citizenship is something that will last forever, this impacts their entire quality of life in America! Can you imagine trying to thrive in a community when you can’t communicate with anyone? These students are so strong and they want it so much. It really helped me learn to appreciate my citizenship even more to see how hard they all work for theirs.
So now, I want to challenge you. Will you pick up where I left off? If you are looking to make a lifelong difference in someone’s life, please fill my shoes. They have a long list of students who are waiting to be tutored. You don’t have to have a teaching background…I sure don’t! You don’t have to have all the answers…you just have to be willing to give your time. If you have any questions about it, please email me! I would love to tell you more about my experience!