In the early fall, I started volunteering as an assistant teacher for a second grade dual-language class at Oakside Elementary School for the Peekskill Intern Experience for Seniors (P.I.E.S) program. In this class, students are introduced to components in both Spanish and English. This helps those who have difficulty understanding English, but it also gives students who already know English a chance to learn Spanish.
The teacher I assist, Ms. Feliz, often needs help working with the whole class because some students need more help than others. I get to work with students in small groups, where I take my time to help them with math. I also help the teacher with grading and organizing paperwork.
This has been a significant opportunity in my life thus far because I was once one of those dual language students, and I know these students may need extra help as I did. I struggled at first when I wasn’t able to understand English, or when I needed extra help with other topics. I didn’t have the opportunity to receive help from someone who was able to sit with me and explain things until I finally understood. Now I can provide that to students.
I want to make sure the students don’t give up when they don’t understand something. Instead, I want to teach them to learn from their mistakes. I have volunteered to be their support system and helper because I want to give back to my community and allow these kids a chance to reach their full potential of becoming successful at this stage in their life.