VOLUNTER TESTIMONIAL: Tamara Suttle, ESOL Instructor                         189_IMG_0045

When I was asked to teach the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes for the Haitian Coalition, I had no idea what I was agreeing to!  I do not have a teaching background and am not very comfortable speaking in front of people for extended periods of time.  Four years later, I count my experience working with my students in the Coalition’s classroom one of the most fulfilling experiences, so far, in my life.My first day in the classroom, I was understandably nervous.  The Coalition had given me ESOL training, which also focused on one-on-one tutoring.  Trainers also taught me classroom management, explained the nuances of various literacy levels of students and focused on curriculum development.  Thanks to the training, on my first day, getting over my nerves was easy, and we had a great time – teachers and students alike!Since those first days, I have stepped naturally into the role of coordinator for the program.  I have successfully recruited seven teachers and retained six.  One of the things I have learned is that in order to teach effectively, we all have to become students once again.  While I speak English fluently, I constantly refresh my memory on the rules of speaking this language that I take for granted.

We, I and my fellow instructors, have spent time researching and meeting to discuss lessons.  We have also had to put our frustrations aside and try to put ourselves into the shoes of an English Language Learner (ELL).  We understand the difficulties that come along with navigating a language that is not our own.

One of the great aspects of the ESOL Program is the relationships we have all developed with our students.  There is great love, trust, and respect for those being taught and those teaching.  The bonds that we have formed are quite unique — We’re also enjoying this wonderful opportunity to volunteer!

Volunteer Opportunities — The Haitian Coalition is looking for dedicated volunteers. Experience is not necessary because we will train you! Make a positive impact on your community by serving in these roles within our organization:

  • ESL Tutor
  • Creole Literacy Teacher
  • Computer Tutor
  • Voter Registration Volunteer
  • Administrative/Writing Volunteer
  • Event Organizer
  • MCAS/Homework Tutor

Interested in learning more about volunteering with the Haitian Coalition? Call Franklin Dalembert at (617) 625-6400 or email him at franklin.dalembert@haitian-coalition.org


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