Teaching by modeling is basic best practices in education, and modeling volunteerism is no exception. Recently, I met with a student, Sara Derkaoui from Morocco, who pairs separately with two ILI volunteer tutors and is having very positive experiences with both. Being new to this country, during a pandemic no less, and jumping directly into online English classes is not easy.

And the opportunity for Sara to connect with local volunteer tutors turned out to be more than an educational game changer. It also sparked a desire in her to volunteer. She wants to return the kindness she is experiencing with her tutors by emulating them and giving back to her new community.

The experience is not limited to Sara alone. Across the board, and especially during the pandemic, the relationships forged between students and volunteer tutors have been extraordinary, especially in a time when creating connectivity is the most difficult it has ever been, and hopefully will ever be again.

Learn more about being a volunteer tutor at ILI.

Beth Reddish, ILI ESOL/Spanish Instructor and Career and College Advisor