If you are an immigrant, refugee, or other type of international, working hard to start a new life for yourself and your family in this country, your answer might well be, "My ESL teacher." Each week, Literacy Connexus trained ESL instructors impact more than 12,000 adult students. They teach language, citizenship, and a wide variety of practical and specialized skills, all the while serving as friend and cultural ambassador to men and women from all over the world.
Recently, a former ESL student received her own recognition as "Teacher of the Year" of Treasure Forest Elementary School. Mrs. Vivian Urrutia taught elementary school for seven years in Guatemala before moving to the Houston area with her family. She and her husband, Walter, and daughter-in-law, Jakelin, attended Martha McDade's Monday night level three classes in 2005.
Martha recalls Vivian's dream of returning to teaching, and how hard she worked to improve her English. The family would attend classes with Jakelin's new baby, and take turns walking him in the hall when he cried. Martha prepared Vivian to meet program requirements and helped her navigate toward a teaching certificate.