Linda Noonan says teaching English to children as a volunteer abroad was an opportunity to fulfill a long-time dream. As a retired teacher from Illinois, she knew her knowledge and education were top-notch qualifications. So she was eager to try teaching students in a foreign culture and test her creative skills in many different ways. The Poland summer language camp was just the right opportunity, she says.
The Summer Camp Students Were a Highlight of the Program
Linda said her service in Poland was a delightful departure from her previous classroom assignments in Mexico, Vietnam and Portugal. She selected the Tatra Mountains program where the informal setting inspired her creativity:
“The students emit such sincerity in their approach to their studies and to their firm commitment to learn English. They were truly a delight to be with. I’ve learned how much they love their families. (Yes, they even love those sometimes-pesky younger siblings.) They have great pride in their country and Polish heritage. Their openness and confidence points to strong family ties, the true desire to work hard, and desire to become a productive member of the global community – whether in Poland or elsewhere in this world.”
“I value every moment, and am determined to memorize them all.”
The laid-back daily assignments for Poland summer camps appealed to Linda. She said she used games, songs, dancing and sports for “full-body” learning. “So the fun is in planning the lessons in new ways.” Kids like to try their English skills in active ways, Linda pointed out.
“What most impressed me is that we need their youth, their insight, and passionate desire to make the world a better place for all. My service experience in Poland will be a very hard experience to duplicate. I value every moment, and am determined to memorize them all.”
Her Teammates were the Source of her Inspiration
Linda said she greatly appreciates the structured schedule and team-building activities that are standard on Global Volunteers’ programs. In Poland, she bonded with her teammates quickly. “It’s hard to believe that we were mostly unacquainted strangers only a few days ago. But, we’ve emerged as helpmates, and friends. Here we are volunteering in Zakopane, Poland for two weeks! Everyone is anxious to share thoughts, ideas, activities, and insights to fellow teachers.” Linda said nearly everyone can volunteer in Poland; the only requirement is to be a native English speaker, and a desire to help youth. Families, especially enjoy working together with the teen-aged students. No previous teaching experience is necessary, as Global Volunteers’ Conversational English Teaching Guide provides a wide array of activities and lessons for engaging the students.
Her Team Leader was the Source of Stability for the Team
“Dorota Wierzbicka has been a steadfast and consistent leader; always ready to help in any way. Smiling so beautifully, she assures us that nothing is too much trouble for the success of the volunteers – and of course, for the students. She’s a treasure, and we know and appreciate all her wonderful qualities. We’re so fortunate to have her constantly sharing and translating for us with the students, counselors, and other warm and friendly people we encounter during the day – making our service experience in Poland unique.
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