Linda Purtan-O'Connell, a member of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, works in the Adult Education Division of the Buffalo Public Schools. She shares how she is inspired by and learns from the ESL students she teaches:
It's nice to be able to share stories on this site. I have been teaching English as a Second Language to adult immigrant students for 17 years. It's been such an interesting experience. When I started I wasn't sure that this was something I really could do, having been a teacher's aide for another school district before and then returning to college as an adult. What a great decision it has been.
Both going back to college and teaching have turned out to be something I really like. I have learned so much from my students. They represent so many countries from around the world. Some of my students have been in refugee camps before coming to America —what stories they can tell. I work in a school that has a pre-school program also, so I get to meet the little folks too. They are adorable and learning English along with their mothers.