Justine Kaufmann


This month we are pleased to feature Justine Kaufmann as our Volunteer Spotlight!

We were delighted that Justine chose Literacy Source to gain her experience in teaching ESOL. She has been co-teaching the ESOL 2-3 classes since joining us in February 2017. Justine’s teaching has gone from strength to strength and she is now leading the ESOL 3 class and training a co-teacher to take her place. Justine will be graduating and moving on to overseas ventures at the end of this term. We really appreciate her staying over a year - a plus for her students!

She answered some questions for us:

Where are you originally from? What brought you here?

I was born and raised in Whitefish, Montana (near Glacier National Park). I then lived in Eugene, Oregon for a few years with a couple months spent in Germany here and there. After completing a TEFL Certificate in Berlin, I came to Seattle in 2015 to continue teaching ESOL, pursue my master’s degree in TESOL, and enjoy more of the Pacific Northwest.

Please share something of your life so far and what you would like to do in the future.

This June, I will complete my Master’s Degree in TESOL at Seattle University, and then I will be leaving Seattle in July. I am still waiting to see where my next adventure will take me, but I’m hoping that my husband and I will move to either Germany or Switzerland (where my husband is from) either this summer or in the near future so that I can continue teaching ESOL there.

Justine with her current ESOL class!

Justine with her current ESOL class!

Why did you choose to volunteer at LS?

I love teaching ESOL and was looking for volunteer opportunities to teach and get involved in the Seattle community. I found Literacy Source and really appreciated all the support the organization and people give to the students. It was a great fit!

What do you like about volunteering at LS?

I really enjoy working with the students and being a part of this community. I’ve loved getting to know my students, and even when they move on to a different class, I still like to catch them in the halls and chat with them. I have also really learned a lot about teaching and working with this diverse group of students, which I hope to bring with me in my future teaching.

Any stories or highlights from volunteering at LS?

As I’ve been working with many of the same students over the last year, it has been wonderful seeing how much progress these students have made and continue to make every day. It has been particularly great seeing students who a couple of months ago were very quiet and reserved in class begin to express themselves and create a community together in the classroom.

What might people not know about you?

When I’m not teaching or studying, I can be found surrounded by piles of books and my two cats. And once my studies are over, I hope to get back into studying German and French (and maybe some new languages) and do some more traveling.

Thank you Justine, best of luck for this last term and your transition to your next teaching post!