Language Truck to expand mobile classes
February marks two years since an idea sparked in the mind of Sonoma County-based educator, Bridget Hayes as she fell asleep one night
“I thought,” said Hayes, “Wouldn’t it be great to launch a business that would allow me to deliver instruction to groups of people where they work or live?”
After nearly a year of planning and more than a year in business, Hayes is ready to expand Language Truck, her mobile classroom and tutoring business.
Language Truck is a renovated bus, retrofitted as a fully equipped classroom, featuring workstations for up to 10 adults, including computers with wireless Internet service, textbooks, and whiteboards around the perimeter.
Hayes is the instructor on board, and with a master’s in education, a California teaching credential, and more than a decade working as a teacher (English as a second language, citizenship, Spanish), she has true teaching chops. She approaches teaching as more than language and memorization, viewing herself as an ambassador and mentor for people new to this culture.
“Bridget makes learning for me a lot easier and fun,” said student Fernanda Santos, “and she will try out different styles of learning if one isn’t working. I’m a slow learner, and Bridget has a lot of patience with her students. I can tell that she genuinely cares about helping her students, and that’s what I appreciate the most about her.”
Language Truck currently offers on-the-truck ESL, citizenship, and basic computer skills classes at locations in Santa Rosa and Windsor.
In addition to on-board classes, Language Truck offers on-site instruction, such as ESL classes at employment centers, and an after-school Spanish series at Proctor Terrace Elementary in Santa Rosa.
Hayes also tutors individuals and small groups in Spanish, basic math, algebra, test/GED preparation, and other subjects at Language Truck’s downtown Santa Rosa office. In addition to striving to understand each student’s learning style and background, Hayes seeks opportunities to inject the learning process with levity.
“I like to bring humor to the classroom and make people laugh if possible,” says Hayes. “Learning can bring up a lot of tension, discomfort, and inhibition in people. Helping them loosen up and feel comfortable makes a big difference and helps the learning process flow.”
As Language Truck moves into the first quarter of its second year, Hayes is seeking new opportunities to bring the mobile classroom to students throughout the county.
That means partnerships with schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, clubs, and other groups that would benefit from on-site classes. In many cases, an organization or agency can better serve clients and constituents while saving money and time by contracting with Language Truck to provide classes in communities where they’re needed.
Employers that hire Language Truck to provide workforce instruction may increase employee productivity, increase workplace safety, reduce management stress, and diversify production.
Hayes is currently developing packages for service providers and employers and invites those interested in learning more to contact her to brainstorm what’s possible.
Language Truck has something for everyone, and Bridget Hayes’ diverse teaching background – she’s worked with people ages 2 to 80 – assures that students are met where they are with a fun, meaningful learning experience.