English teacher hosts iPass sessions to provide life skills to EL students

Peddie helps prepare EL students for education after high school through presentations


Clara Oesterling

English teacher Amy Peddie helps senior Iang Len sort through her FASFA paperwork during ipass on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Since English is not senior Ruth Tial’s first language, the application process can become confusing. She decided to go to room 240 during iPass in order to get the help she needs for her college applications.

English Learner (EL) teacher Amy Peddie offers a solution through her college preparation workshops during iPass. In her workshops, Peddie organizes presentations and lessons based on certain topics that arise during the application process.

“I help them apply to colleges and then also apply to scholarships, so I have a Powerpoint presentation that I do for each of those things that I’ve developed over the years,” Peddie said. “I also stay after school until about four o’clock everyday to do the same thing and talk to the kids individually.”

Noticing the need for more room, Peddie switched her iPass to study hall room 240 towards the beginning of the school year. She had previously tried to hold the workshops after school, but found herself repeating the same information during class to kids unable to come to those sessions. She decided instead to hold them during iPass in order to get rid of that problem and to reach more students. While meeting with them individually can help students with their specific needs, she noticed the need exceeded that of just a one-on-one session.

“In this situation (iPass), I talk to them more as a group and it’s probably around once a week I do a workshop on FAFSA or applications, resumes, how do I do Parchment, all these other things that seniors have to do,” Peddie said. “And it’s easier for me to do it when they’re all together, so that was part of the reason I accepted that higher number of students.”

Tial is one of the students that attends Peddie’s workshops and finds the content to be extremely beneficial to herself and to her fellow classmates. She says Peddie tries to explain the different parts of the process in a way that they’d best understand it.

“FAFSA (for example), some of us don’t know how to do it, so she helps us do it,” Tial said. “(She’s helped most with) college application essays. Some of us don’t know the (proper) grammar, so she helps us with that.”

Peddie sees herself continuing the workshops as long as the demand requires. She says that it helps her feel like she’s having a positive aeffect on the lives of her students.

“(Holding the workshops) helps me feel like I’m truly making a difference in their lives and that’s why I like it. That’s why I do it. I enjoy that (feeling),” Peddie said.