A newcomer takes her first steps in Canada Thanking the people who helped smooth the way

NATALIA ZIRNOV

“The way goes astray. If you run do not fall, if you fell stand up. If you got hurt do not cry, for life is like a striped zebra. When you walk on the dark stripe of misfortune always try to jump to the light stripe of life.” – A. Brustein

I am a newcomer. I came to Canada in 2009 from Israel and would like to write about the people who helped me adapt in this country.

For a better life in Canada, learning the English language is essential. Teachers from the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers are helping me. The Mennonite Center for Newcomers is an organization that helps newcomers take their first steps in Canada, learn English, and Canadian laws. The following teachers have helped me achieve my dream: Mrs. Su Croll and Mr. William Shebansky. They are teaching me a high level of English and are helping me gain good communication skills in order to integrate easier into Canadian society. Those teachers have a lot of patience and a willingness to help others.

I have a teaching education. I really like children and would like to work with them. It is very important for me to gain experience working with children in Canada. For me, every child is a world that gives you a new vision. It is an opportunity to be reminded that once we were also children. A child’s view of the world gives happiness.

I went to the principal of St. Alphonsus School, Mrs. McDonough, with a petition about volunteering there. The principal understood my situation and offered me an opportunity to volunteer in the kindergarten class with Ms. Blatz, a great teacher. She’s worked in the school for 30 years, loves her job, and is a very good person.

I try to accept and learn her working skills, which will help me better understand the methods for approaching and communicating with children in Canada. The students at St. Alphonsus come from all over the world and from a variety of cultures. Thanks to my volunteering experience, I feel needed and able to help. It helps me believe in myself.

My hobbies are listening to music and reading books. In my free time, I also enjoy playing the piano, writing poems on a variety of topics, and listening to classical music.

After finishing my education, I wish to work in my field, and implement my artistic skills wherever I can, especially in my future work with children. I would like to thank all of those people who helped me for their generosity. Seeing all that help provides me with another future goal and that is to help other newcomers make their first steps in Canada just like I was helped. 

Featured Image: Natalia (wearing the purple shirt) is pictured with her classmates. | Supplied

3 thoughts on “A newcomer takes her first steps in Canada Thanking the people who helped smooth the way

  1. I really liked the article. Helps to understand the life of immigrants in Canada. I am interested in the future steps of how Natalia will integrate into the Canadian society.

  2. Dear Editor, what a lovely story. I applaud the themes of service to others, welcoming newcomers with friendship, and gratitude. Thank you for publishing such helpful and hopeful articles, Tania Nordli MD
    “Verily, ye are all the leaves and fruits of one tree; ye are all one. Therefore, associate in friendship; love one another; abandon prejudices of race; dispel forever this gloomy darkness of human ignorance, for the century of light, the Sun of Reality hath appeared. Now is the time for affiliation, and now is the period of unity and concord. For thousands of years ye have been contending in warfare and strife. It is enough. Now is the time for unity.
    (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 322)

  3. What a wonderful article! I have known Natasha ever since she came to Edmonton and couldn’t speak a word of English. To read her article now is such a joy–she has come so far, through work and perseverannce. It is a witness of what motivation can accomplish. Bravo, Natasha!

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