Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hasta Luego, Maestra Naomi!

It is with both sadness as well as glad tidings for her future that we say goodbye to Naomi, our Tuesday English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.

I remember the first day of our ESL program, way back in early April (it seems so long ago now!) Bev and I were getting ready for the assessment sessions, and the mother-daughter team of Ruth and Naomi came to help out. I was nervous when the students first arrived, not sure how this would all work. There was an awkward silence as students walked in, and there was a moment when I worried if this would come together at all! Ruth and Naomi jumped in and starting talking and laughing with the students and got the ball rolling, and it has been rolling ever since.

A lot has happened in the last few months. Naomi started off helping out as a tutor. Bev would teach for the first 20-40 minutes of class, and then the class would break up as students paired up with tutors to drill what they had just learned.

It wasn't long before Naomi started researching more about ESL. She attended training sessions at the Dominican Learning Center. She started scheduling time with students for private, one-on-one sessions. Eventually, she began teaching segments of classes, and it certainly wasn't long before she was teaching the Tuesday night beginner's ESL class faithfully.

It has been a true joy to watch her grow in her love for ESL. It is quite clear that she really cares for the students, and she also has a lot of talent for ESL. So then why is she leaving, you may ask?

As a matter of fact, she is leaving in order to study ESL more formally at a school in Oaxaca, Mexico. She'll be there for a month, and then she will look for opportunities to teach ESL in Mexico for a longer period of time. That would be a great chance not only to develop as an ESL teacher, but also to grow in her Spanish skills, which are already quite good.

We are sorry to see her go but glad that she is pursuing this. We are honored that she was able to discover this passion and was willing to nurture and share it while working with us.

We celebrated with cake as well as some recently-made salsa (which, by the way, got some thumbs up from the Latino students!)

Pictured above is Naomi on her last day, Bev is in the background.

We wish you the best, Naomi! Good luck in your studies and upcoming adventures!

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