Feature Friday: Christine Fleetwood

Christine Fleetwood
Christine Fleetwood started teaching with Intercambio in January, 2015. Her prior teaching experience included teaching a Spanish co-parenting class to adults going through custody or divorce proceedings, as well as giving presentations and facilitating clinics. Nonetheless, working with a group of Intercambio students at the Lafayette Public library “has been a wonderful mutual learning experience,” said Christine.

Why Intercambio? (What made you decide to volunteer or what keeps you coming back?)
– I picked Intercambio because it appeared to be a great opportunity to be of service to our community and I enjoy working with individuals from different cultures.

What has been surprising about working with your students or something unexpected you have learned?
– I think what has been the most surprising, is how much fun I have had. It has been a wonderful mutual learning experience and I have very much enjoyed the effort the students put into learning the English language.

Has teaching with Intercambio inspired you to make any changes?
– It has inspired me to become involved in Immigration issues. I have signed up to volunteer with RMIAN (Rocky Mountain Immigrate Advocacy Network) and hope to become more involved in helping the immigrant community.

What teaching tips would you pass on to future Intercambio volunteer teachers?
– I think it is important to make the class interactive and fun using many different teaching tools – visual, written, auditory, and very participatory. All those ideas we were given during our training!

Describe an embarrassing moment in the classroom.
– I didn’t want my students to know I could speak and understand Spanish, so when one of my students started speaking to me in Spanish, I pretended not to understand. I had to apologize to my students at the next class. They were very gracious. We made a commitment not to speak Spanish during class, but agreed they could ask questions in Spanish after class.