Yesterday was the last day of the ESL class I taught over the summer. It was hard to say good-bye to the ladies. They have put in two hours a day Monday through Friday for two months on top of working 8-10 hour before class and sometimes returning to work after class. I don’t know how they did it!
It was an interesting class to teach. It was very structured. I was given texts and a syllabus filled with requirements and told to teach. The students (all women who work in the same factory) were at a variety of low levels. Lack of confidence was the biggest problem for some while others really had almost no prior knowledge of English.
Yesterday, as they took their grammar final, I reviewed their portfolios. And I have to say I was impressed! They did a lot of work over the course of the summer. Most of them had taken great care in organizing their portfolios, and I could see the pride on their faces as they handed them to me. I wrote each of them a little note and stuck it in their portfolio. At the end of class they were sharing those notes with their classmates. It was a little thing, but it meant a lot to them.
I encouraged the women to sign up for classes through the local college now, but I understood when they told me they needed a break. They say they will sign up for the next term starting in October. I hope they will.