Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ready to Begin

To teach is to learn twice. ~ Joseph Joubert, 1842


I just got word last night that I'm cleared and ready to begin as an adult literacy tutor. Best of all, I have an eager student waiting for me!

I'll be working with adult offenders through the work furlough program of our county probation offices. These folks have been convicted of a minor crime of some kind, but rather than receiving jail time, they were sentenced to probation. They're offered lots of opportunities to improve their lives, making them better citizens who hopefully won't break the law again. One of those opportunities is studying for their GED's. From that group of students, some are recognized as needing individual help learning to read. That's where we volunteer literacy tutors come in.

All I know at this point is that my student's name is Mark, and I'll be meeting with him twice a week for an hour each time, helping him learn to read. He's very eager to get his GED, and has been waiting for my security clearance to come through (background check, finger-printing, etc.) I've not yet met him, but I keep hearing from other tutors that he's enthusiastic and raring to go. I couldn't ask for more in my first assignment!



As I mentioned in a post a month or so ago, I can't image how difficult it is for an adult to step forward and say, "I don't know how to read. Please help me." I love to read, and always have my nose buried in a book or magazine of some kind. What would it be like to go through life not being able to escape into a good novel? Or more importantly, to be unable to read a menu or a perscription bottle or street signs? We take so much for granted when we can read, don't we?

So I'm excited to begin on Monday -- and scared as heck! Every time I misspell a word, or make a blunder in one of my crossword puzzles, I think, "Good grief, who am I to be teaching somehow how to read??" But then I remember that old expression about how in life, there will always be someone more knowledgeable than you, and always someone not quite as skilled. I've had some incredible teachers in my lifetime - both in traditional classrooms settings and out in the world. Now it's my turn to give something back.



Until next time...

18 comments:

Rayann said...

Good luck Pattie, I know you will do just fine! He's lucky to have you as a teacher.

new*me said...

What a humbling experience that will be! That, Pattie, is giving back! We need more Pattie's in the world :)

Kathy said...

What a wonderful pursuit! When you teach someone to read you give them freedom and open the entire world to them...how wonderful! And your smile should reassure any nervous "student".

Lora said...

You're doing a very worthwhile thing Patti. I commend you!

Deborah said...

Good for you. You make me proud to know you.

jovaliquilts said...

Sounds good! I have been looking for projects during my retirement, and I may check into this. What a wonderful way to give back!

Nicole said...

I'm so glad you're doing this, and I can't wait to read about your experiences. I LOVE tutoring. I can't begin to express how much I get from it. Waaaaaaay more than I put into it, I assure you. I SO hope you have the same experience.

Don't worry about making mistakes. You will make mistakes--all of the native English speakers in my ESL class (including me) have misspelled a word or given the wrong advice. That comes with the territory, and it's not a big deal. :o)

Midlife Mom said...

I wish more people would be like you and reach out to those that need help. I just can't imagine not being able to read, it's one of my biggest joys in life to sit down and get into a good book. You will be so good at this and we will want to hear about your lucky students progress! You Go Girl!!!

Mary (A Merry Life) said...

Wow. That sounds like it will be a wonderful experience. I would love to do something like that.

Cammy said...

What a wonderful world you'll be giving to someone! Way to go, Pattie!

Manuela said...

That is so awesome Pattie, what a terrific way to "give back".

I too can't imagine someone going through life and not being able to read. I've been reading all my life it seems and find it one of the true joys.

Can't wait to hear all about it :)

MizFit said...

SO NEAT.

I tutored adults in reading while in college and learned (as Im sure you know) far more from them than I think I even taught.

Miz.

PEA said...

I think you will do just fine, Pattie and I also think it's a wonderful thing you're doing!! It truly is hard to believe that in this day and age some people still don't know how to read but it's a fact and there's more out there than we think. I'm excited for you and I look forward to hearing how it goes:-) xoxo

Susie said...

Hi Pattie,
I just know you'll be making a huge difference in Mark's life. As you say, what would it be like not to be able to read! Can't even imagine!
Such a wonderful volunteer activity.
xo

giyen said...

Hi! Just found your blog through scalejunkie. Nice to meet others who are battling their weight.

I think tutoring is an awesome endeavor. It makes a difference when someone is rooting for you and knows that you are taking time out of their own lives to hep them.

Scale Junkie said...

It sounds like you have a wonderful opportunity here and so do these people you'll be helping. Your work can be the turning point in their lives and that has to be so fulfilling. I'm so proud of you.

Kelli said...

What a wonderful new adventure, Pattie! You are going to do great!
~Kelli

jillytacy said...

I'm so excited for you! Teaching someone to read is such a special job. You have the opportunity to change a life forever! I know you'll be great! Good luck and have fun teaching!