“It was a whole experience to give lessons to these people”

Philip and Elly are two of our teachers who taught A1 Dutch classes as a duo to our students. Philip studies Business Administration at Leiden University and Elly studies European Studies at the Haagse Hogeschool. Read on to find out how they experienced the teaching process.

Elly and Philip

Elly: “My roommate is Jack, who is on the board, so I found your organization through him. Because I also had the connection to Jack, doing volunteer work at Reach&Teach was easy, and honestly it’s a very beautiful organization with the work you do.

At the start of the teaching experience I found it quite difficult with the language barrier, so we realized we needed to use a lot of pictures. And now its going very well.

Ofcourse because of the online environment it did create some technical difficulties, because for example some students didn’t know how to use Microsoft teams, which was difficult but after a while you get used to it. Some people also would not respond when we asked them a question, which makes sense because its their first time speaking the language which can be difficult.

Ultimately, you create a bond with people who are new to the country, and who really want to learn a new language and I really think that’s beautiful, that you can help someone with that. It was a whole experience to give lessons to these people, they’re such nice people and work very hard to reach their goals.”

Philip: “I also found your organization through Ramona (one of our Academic Coordinators) who is a friend of my friend. She was talking about and it seemed fun to do. I wasn’t actively looking for volunteer work but then through Ramona I got introduced to it, and it also happens to be the volunteer work I would most want to do. There’s a lot of talk about refugees and now you see that you can actually do something about it, and help.

“In one way or another, I feel like a better citizen, and more useful to society than I was before.” – Philip

Teaching was a lot of looking at what works and what doesn’t, how long does one lesson take and how best to explain something. When they understand something and what they understand. I communicate in English because some speak English so that makes it a little easier. We use a lot of pictures to communicate things and eventually things worked. We have Turkish students so that also means they can talk to each other and explain things when necessary, which is very nice.

With the online environment on Microsoft Teams, you don’t really have that interaction aspect of like waiting for each other to talk and making jokes, you really have to prepare stuff like that in your PowerPoint, haha.

I’m also definitely not disappointed with this experience, it’s a lot of work but Its also really nice to see that you’re helping people and that they get to learn from you, that gives a really nice satisfaction.”

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