By now I've fulfilled my 25 hour TESL requirement in preparation for teaching in Rwanda. I've been teaching ~9 hours of ESL each week at the Literacy Council of Lancaster and I've discovered that I really enjoy it, so I'll probably continue teaching until a week or two before I leave for Rwanda.
My class of ~25 students is comprised of adult learners from Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, many of whom are refugees. The group is very diverse in terms of both culture and ability. While some are literate in their native language, others are not, which poses an even greater challenge for the students as well as the teacher! The main point of these mixed classes is to equip refugees with basic life skills so that they can live and work and function in American society.
I've been having reading and discussion periods with some of the more advanced students, and next week I'll be reviewing basic math concepts, which I'm very excited about (hopefully the students will be as well).
Anyone who might be interested in teaching ESL and Life Skills classes or tutoring one-on-one should contact the Literacy Council. Funding has been cut to many of these programs, so volunteer support is needed more now than ever!