Meet Becky: Beautiful and Interesting Culture
Updated: May 31
1. How did you get involved with newcomers?
I had the opportunity to teach some newcomers in a classroom setting a few years ago.
2. What have you learned from the experience(s)?
I have learned that their culture is beautiful and very interesting. I have also learned that you have to be very creative at times to bridge the language barrier so that you can really learn and understand more about each other.
3. What do you think makes a good community ally to newcomers?
I believe that a good community ally to newcomers would be one who brings many different supports and community programs together in a joint conversation about how best to support the needs of our newcomers.
4. How was your experience working with newcomers?
Having the opportunity to work with my students from Syria was both rewarding and challenging. The language barrier and minimal ESL supports available to them made communication frustrating and sometimes isolating for them. However, over the course of the year, they slowly became more comfortable with their classmates and the school, even beginning to show an interest in joining school clubs and intramural sports. One heartwarming moment in their year was when I gave each student the opportunity to “teach the teacher”. Both students took this as an opportunity to teach myself and the class how to say and read some Arabic characters and phrases, as well as shared some delicious food with us. It opened up a lot more dialogue between them and their classmates. This really began to break down some of those insecurities and assumptions the class had about them.