For my summer internship, I worked for the Irish International Immigrant Center, which provides free legal, education, and counseling services to immigrants, both Irish and non-Irish.
I worked primarily in the Education Services department, however I also spent at least one day a week in Guest Services, which allowed me to interact with every client that came through our doors, connecting them with the right resources. This also allowed me to interact with and learn more about most other departments in the organization.
For Education Services, I prepared class files and folders for our summer conversation classes and then again for the fall, cross-checking students on the online roster and our paper files, as well as making sure students were aware when their classes started. A large part of my role was also co-teaching several classes, including a six-week ESL class focused on art and history in Boston, a six-week conversation class focused on practicing basic conversation skills, and a ten-week citizenship class.
For the Art and History ESOL class, every Wednesday we would take a field trip into the city to see what we had discussed on Monday, and I led several different portions of the field trips.
For the citizenship class, I made class-specific Taboo games to review important figures, dates, and events in American history, and also planned a field trip around historic Boston, which helped to make more concrete some of the material covered in class. This manifested itself particularly well when we ended our field trip at the Old State House where, the students learned, the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians.
The biggest thing I learned about myself is that I enjoy teaching ESL classes and that it might be something I wish to pursue after graduation, either as a career, or as a volunteer opportunity. I also learned to be more confident with my Spanish. I interacted with many clients who did not speak English and with whom I had to clearly express certain pieces of information.
Finally, I learned that it is ok (and even a good sign) to ask for more responsibility.