In honour of National Student Volunteer Week, we sat down with one our dedicated student volunteers, Hengameh, to find out more about her and her studies.
When did you start volunteering at ECSE?
I started teaching at ECSE in January 2018 and have been teaching Beginners and Lower Intermediate level leaners on Monday and Wednesday evenings since.
What brought you to us?
I had previously volunteered with one of the staff members from ECSE, but was unfortunately unable to commit to one of the school evenings at the time. I’m so glad it was so easy to be welcomed back into the community and I’m really enjoying teaching here again.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching at ECSE?
As somebody who learnt English as a second language herself, I fully understand the difficulties my students encounter as they learn. I love helping them get the most out of their lessons and seeing them improve their fluency.
What are you studying?
I’m currently studying for my PGCE in English at the University of Westminster.
Why have you chosen to study teaching English?
I’m very passionate about the English language and I’m always keen to continue improving my subject knowledge. I love sharing my passion for the language with my students, and seeing them get as passionate about their learning as I am about teaching.
What’s your favourite thing about studying?
I really enjoy improving my skills, and developing as a teacher. Studying provides you with so much access to opportunities for self-improvement and I utilise as many as possible.
What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching?
I really enjoy pottery, though I wish I had more time to dedicate to it! I’ve made a range of vases over the years and intend to get back into it once I have finished my PGCE.
Finally, if you had to give advice to a student who was thinking about volunteering, what would you say?
I would say two things, first that volunteering provides you with new experiences and a really good opportunity to gain new skills, so don’t shy away from it. Secondly, if you commit to a role, it’s really important to make sure you are organised with your time, as balancing studying and other activities can be difficult. There are many flexible volunteering options out there and ECSE provides me with an excellent opportunity to gain additional experience while I continue my studies.
If you’re interested in volunteering to help people integrate into their local community, please get in touch with us. No prior teaching experience is required, as we offer full training.