May 28, 2015

ESL "Graduation"

David and I have spent this semester teaching ESL classes through the RALC here in Richardson.  When we moved into our house last Fall, we knew we wanted to find ways to get connected in our community.  Our church has an ESL program that someone had asked me to volunteer for, but it's held during the work day so I couldn't do it.  But it gave me the idea to look for other opportunities to get involved with ESL.  So I asked David if he'd be interested in doing it with this semester.  We went to a training in January and then started our classes--David taught level 4A class and I was assigned to the Intro class!  

Last Thursday night we had our last night of ESL of the semester, so we had a ceremony where our students received certificates.
Goodies for my class on their final exam night last week

My class with their certificates!

David handing out a certificate to Emilio.  Emilio was in David's class and his wife Belsi was in my class!

David's class with their certificates

After the ceremony, we each had a part with our class.  My students brought a whole bunch of delicious homemade Mexican food (our 2 Vietnamese friends brought drinks).  They were all so worried about whether or not I would like the food and I assured them that Mexican food is my favorite--and authentic homemade Mexican food it about 10x better than anything else!

My students were so sweet and several brought my little gifts and notes.  And we took pictures with them
 This is me with my friend Tania.  Below is a picture of me with Tania's little boy Kenneth and another student, Reyna.  Kenneth came to several of our classes throughout the semester and was always very entertaining

It was a pretty crazy semester for me.  When they first called me to teach the Intro class, I felt like there was no way I was capable of that.  And then add to that the fact that they were piloting a new curriculum with the Intro classes and I felt way in over my head.  But I also felt pretty strongly that God had called me to this program and so I jumped in.  It took a lot of preparation--and a lot of prayer for His work in me--but I feel like the semester went pretty well overall.  I am so proud of my students.  Most of them have full time jobs and families and all kinds of responsibilities, but they came twice a week every week to learn English.  They were all so dedicated and invested and it was a joy to get to be with them for the semester!

They did it!  This group stuck with us the whole semester and finished strong.  They all did well on their final exam and have learned so much!  I'm grateful that I got to be a part of it.

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