Volunteer Spotlight – Joan Iceland

February 23rd, 2017

IMG_0802Meet Joan! A longtime tutor for the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, she has found that by volunteering to teach others, she has learned quite a bit herself! She tells us more as our February 2017 Volunteer of the Month.

What motivated or inspired you to become an LCMC volunteer?
I was motivated to become an LCMC volunteer because while living overseas for so many years, I sometimes taught ESL and always loved it.

How long have you been an LCMC volunteer?
I have been an LCMC volunteer for a total of 5 to 6 years, separated in two parts by about 4 or 5 years.  In the past, I taught beginners, but now I am facilitating Conversation, as well as teaching some reading and writing.

What is some advice you can give to future LCMC volunteer tutors/TAs?
I would advise future LCMC volunteers to try to make classes fun and to emphasize meaning over exact grammar.  For most students, being able to express what they mean and to understand what other people are trying to convey is what is most important for them.

What is your favorite aspect of being a TA/tutoring?
My favorite aspect of being a tutor is meeting people from all over the world and learning about life in their home countries.

What are some obstacles that you face in tutoring or teaching?
I don’t usually think about obstacles in this work that I enjoy so much.  The only thing that comes to mind is the need to constantly come up with new and interesting discussion topics [for Conversation Classes], but of course students help with this by bringing up things that they find particularly interesting to discuss.

How has being an LCMC tutor impacted your life?
My life has been enhanced by my work as an LCMC tutor by enabling me to meet and chat with people from so many countries and cultures.  This has added so much to my education and given me such pleasure.

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County features a Volunteer Spotlight each month of one of its most dedicated volunteers. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, get started with an info session here