Volunteer Spotlight – Marsha

October 17th, 2016

Marsha VonduerckheimMarsha has dedicated over ten years of service assisting adults with learning Basic Literacy skills and English as a Second Language (ESL). She first started tutoring adults in 2005 and officially tutored until 2011. In 2009, she became a Volunteer Teaching Assistant and assisted in our first adult English class session. We are so happy to have Marsha as a part of our team. We thank her for her hard work and dedication to our mission for all these years.

 

What motivated or inspired you to become an LCMC volunteer?

Having lived a life with certain advantages I wanted to give back to the community. I also lived overseas and enjoyed connecting with people from other cultures and countries.

How long have you been an LCMC volunteer?

I started as a tutor in 2005. While tutoring, I developed an interest in teaching adults and decided to volunteer in the classroom program. I took some classes at Montgomery College and attended local workshops and obtained a certificate in teaching ESOL to adults in 2010.  I have been a Teaching Assistant in the classroom program since then.

What is some advice you can give to future LCMC volunteer tutors/ TAs?

Attend local workshops, such as those offered by MCAEL and get a certificate in teaching ESOL to adults.  As a TA, I recommends assisting everyday as opposed to once a week, to really become a part of the class.

What is your favorite aspect of being a TA/tutoring?

I enjoy getting to know the students and their stories and helping them to find their way in the American culture.

What are some obstacles that you face as a TA/tutor?

Some obstacles I face are teaching students who do not know the English language and not knowing their language. It is important to be able to recognize when the student doesn’t understand what you are teaching as well as for them to recognize when we don’t understand them.

How has being an LCMC tutor impacted your life?

Tutoring has impacted my life because I now have a better understanding of the people at the lower end of our socioeconomic status. Also, many new friendships, good food, and better understanding of the diversity of American society at a basic level.