The best summer of my life has ended, and after about a month of being, back home I have had some time to process what exactly made it so wonderful. In short, the best part of this summer was the people I met and the places I went. However, none of this summer would have been possible without ACLE – the program that made this summer what it was. Thank you, ACLE.
ACLE, thank you for the first week of orientation. This is where I not only learned the information I would be teaching throughout the summer, but also where I met many friendly faces that I would be excited to see throughout the summer. I never learned so much in such a short period of time and laughed so much than I did this first week, and I knew this was an indicator of what was to come. I was so happy to be surrounded this week by people who chose to spend their summer in the same way I had. A special thanks for giving me my roommates this week. We had so much fun together this week, but we kept in touch all summer, supporting each other through whatever came our way.
ACLE, thank you for all of those sweet Italian families who I stayed with weekly. I feel so blessed to know these special people. From Tuscany and Piedmont, to Veneto and Lombardy, I now have a connection with people from these regions. It is with them that I was able to live the Italian lifestyle and be immersed into their culture. It is amazing how quickly a relationship can grow throughout the course of a week. Each week I went from not knowing anything about a family, to being so full of love (and pasta) that my heart broke saying goodbye at the end of the week. There were many tearful goodbyes because these families made such a lasting impression on me and I knew it would be some time before we meet again. I am so thankful for these incredible families who truly opened their arms, hearts, and homes to me.
ACLE, thank you for the other tutors I met each week at camp. It was great working with and getting to know people from all around the world! I met tutors from South Africa, England, Ireland, Wales, Canada, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and from all over the US. So much culture! I learned something new from each tutor I worked with, and was excited weekly to discover who I would be working with at a camp.
ACLE, thank you for the helpers, camp directors, and especially for the adorable children at each camp! The majority of each week was spent at camp, where the first half of the day I was in the classroom teaching lessons to my students and the second half of the day completing games, crafts, and activities together with the other classes. Some lessons went smoothly, and other lessons had a lot of room for improvement. Some days my classes were well behaved and attentive, other days not so much. However, each week I was so impressed with the ability of my students to learn and improve their English skills in ways that I would not have imagined. These students taught me to never give up, to keep trying, and that it is okay to make mistakes. Mostly these kids taught me the value of a smile and a big hug. Because when words fail, emotions speak. Moreover, words always failed when it came time to say bye to those sweet faces.
ACLE, thank you because I truly cannot imagine a sweeter way to have spent my summer.
ACLE Tutor 2019