July Literacy Leader: Joe Schaedler

Our Literacy Leader for July, Joe Schaedler, has been a volunteer at the International Education Center for over seven years. During evening classes at the IEC, Joe works as a teaching assistant, providing one-on-one tutoring to ESL students and leading small group reading activities. His flexibility and deep interest in education and language make him a great educator, but it is the personal touch that he brings to the classroom that makes Joe a truly exceptional volunteer.

Joe started volunteering with the IEC in the spring of 2006, and he has been a dedicated ESL tutor ever since. For Joe, tutoring is all about the connections he sparks in students’ minds. “The best thing is getting to connect to the learners' interest in the English language or American culture, to be able to explain some nuance to them and feel that they genuinely enjoy the insight I have to offer.” He also loves to engage students directly, often bringing in magazine articles about students’ home countries and answering their inquiries about life in Minnesota after class and during breaks.

As a teacher, Joe is patient and helps students arrive at answers independently. ESL Instructor Michelle Jacobson especially appreciates his flexibility. “Whether that is proctoring a test, pulling out a group of students who are struggling, or being in charge of reading a chapter with half of the class, Joe is willing to help.” When asked what makes Joe such a successful volunteer, Michele answered, “The students can accomplish just about anything with Joe because he is friendly, patient and enthusiastic about learning. When he is around, they have the confidence to do just about anything.” Joe’s approachability and dedication to his students make him an invaluable presence in the classroom.

Congratulations, Joe, and thank you for so many outstanding years of volunteer service!


Written by Lexi Knutson, Volunteer Outreach Intern.

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