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In Their Own Words...




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Maureen Somers

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"Palmer Public Library has always been near and dear to my heart. As a mom with two small boys, I was here very frequently so it's always been a special place. I had read about Top Floor Learning many times but never had the opportunity to tutor because of my schedule. It sounded like a stimulating place, with great programs. When I retired from teaching 3rd grade I had time to spare. The first year of retirement is like a buffet - you try different things to see if you like them. I thought that with my background, teaching ESL would be very rewarding and I believe that when you start something new it can blossom in unknown ways. I thought the ESL tutor training was challenging but I enjoyed it, especially meeting new people. I really enjoy working here now; it's a cheery place to be and you and Marsha always take the time to answer any questions I have. I've found I'm learning a lot from my student. For one thing, it's training me to be a better listener. I admire the courage it takes to come to a new country and learn the system through trial and error and I often wonder how difficult it is for him. I see myself as a springboard for him, knowing that he will move on, slowly finding his way in the U.S. Your role changes as tutor — you have to realize that. Now we're thinking about his next step. I think my job is to support him in whatever direction he decides to go."

Maureen trained as an ESL tutor in September 2009. Since she graduated from the training, she has been working with a young Egyptian man who plans to go to a university in the US to do graduate work in civil engineering.






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