I was born in Costa Rica and didn’t move to Canada until I was nine. My mom married my dad (step-dad technically), and we immigrated here because he was Canadian. We moved to Lyndhurst which was quite a big difference and change for me, but I’m happy we did so.
When I first arrived, I spoke very little English. I started at Sweet’s Corners Elementary School and was put into a class of very excited nine-year olds. I was considered exotic by them, and they were all super welcoming. But they were also nine-year olds.
One of the learning resource teachers, Mrs. Conger, had just come back from a trip to Costa Rica. For the first little while, my classmates thought she’d adopted me because we spoke Spanish together. It took me a while to explain the truth about that.
I had a truly wonderful teacher for my ESL. She was so helpful and really made learning English easier! At the end of every unit, she’d let me do little plays and skits for my friends from the regular class. They’d come down to our little ESL room and me and my teacher would perform for them.
The one I remember most was when we rapped “There Was An Old Woman”, and I went all out. Backwards baseball cap, arms crossed, I was the height of cool. Or at least, I thought so.
But I found everyone at Sweet’s Corners and in Lyndhurst super supportive. It might have been a bit scary at first, but in the end, I loved learning about another culture and experiencing another education system. Those days at elementary school are some of my favourite childhood memories today.