Student & Tutor Success: Ivonne & Vicki

May 3, 2021

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Vicki Jordan on working with her “fearless” student Ivonne, who is a teacher, translator, & an inspiration.


“I retired December 2017 and in early 2018 took the training offered by the AA County Literacy Council for volunteer tutors! Tutoring was on my bucket list. Ivonne and I were matched (brilliantly!) and started our journey together in March 2018.

“From our first weekly meeting at Linthicum Library we ‘clicked.’ We share a love of learning and a heart for helping others be their best selves. Ivonne is a Middle School Spanish teacher and her goal was to improve her spoken and written English — particularly business English; formal and informal correspondence with the administration, parents, and students…

“Little did we know in 2018 how much written correspondence would be required at all levels during the past year-plus as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic and online school presented a whole new set of challenges, and Ivonne was prepared for the unexpected.

“As we began our work together, we used the Challenger Series provided by AACLC, quickly completing the first series and moved on to books 5-8. Each week Ivonne came prepared and enthusiastically shared ‘The Best Thing that Happened’ from the journal we agreed she would keep. Her journal entries started out focused on facts — persons, places, and things — and gradually became much more complex focusing on emotions/ perceptions, and goals for the future utilizing more advanced sentence structures and her growing vocabulary.

“Ivonne read books about famous historical figures, newspaper articles, and shared her love of art with me. I learned she loved baseball too and we studied baseball terms! Her written and conversational English improved through tireless practice and most importantly, her confidence grew!

“Ivonne is fearless. As a teacher, she copes with many challenges inside and outside the classroom. Her ‘WHY’ is her students — she cares deeply about them and has built a trust with each of them that lingers long after they leave Middle School. I love hearing about the notes and visits she receives from current and former students who share what a difference-maker she is. Where others might see defeat and obstacles, she sees opportunity and growth. Ivonne inspires me!

“Speaking of inspiration, during the summer of 2020, the church my husband and I attend was in need of a Spanish translator. Without hesitation, Ivonne stepped up to bridge the gap between our church and the community we were serving. Not only did she help us understand what they needed as far as food, etc., but she also provided spiritual support.

“Ivonne and I look forward to meeting in person again and in the meantime, we continue to talk over the phone, send texts, and emails, and be there for each other. We both love the Library of Congress and hopefully, that will be an outing we can share! She is a friend and I look forward to the milestones she will achieve in the future.”

Vicki Jordan,

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