Retired teachers never quit; they just choose another course
It’s probably not surprising that a former teacher finds it hard to quit teaching.
Like many Sisters of Providence, Sister Patricia Geis has continued teaching as an English language tutor long after she could have called it quits in the working world.
For the last “seven or eight” years, Sister Patricia has been with School & Tutors on Wheels. It is an English literacy program that provides free one-on-one tutoring to low-income adults. This is a ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph and their website describes the need: “improving adult English literacy improves our schools, public safety, health literacy and workplace productivity — this helps our communities and our economy.”
Sister Patricia explained that her students “want to refine their English skills to be able to communicate with doctors and other English-speaking people that they have to deal with every day.”
She said the ministry used to actually travel and tutor on a bus that traveled Chicago neighborhoods, but it has grown so large that they now meet their students in libraries, storefronts and other locations. She meets her students at St. Francis of Rome School in Cicero, Illinois.
To be clear, her teaching isn’t at the same pace as in her younger years. She meets with two separate students one day a week. It’s a good pace for her and something she sought after she retired.
“I was retired and looking for something to do,” she said. “It was something I was interested in and wanted to do. And it was something that was very needed.”
The rewards of this work are worth the effort. Working with adults is also a fun change from teaching kindergarten, first and second graders.
“You get so friendly with these people and they are so wonderful,” she said. “You get a lot more from them than you are giving to them.
Read about more of our amazing senior sisters in the most recent issue of HOPE magazine.