Leslie was born in Edmonton, where she completed a bachelor degree in Education at the University of Alberta. Despite majoring in teaching junior and senior high school English, she later fell in love with teaching adult ESL. After moving to Calgary, Leslie became a basic English literacy teacher for the Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) program at CCIS, where she taught for approximately 18 years.
“My love of teaching, and my love for the students motivated me to continue at CCIS as a volunteer.”
When Leslie retired in December 2012, she knew that she wanted to continue to work with immigrants, helping them to learn a new language and the survival skills to adapt to Canadian life. Leslie signed on to volunteer in the basic English literacy classrooms, where students often come from refugee backgrounds, and have very low levels or no understanding of English.
As an experienced teacher, Leslie is often entrusted with more responsibilities in the classrooms. She has worked with students one on one, in a large group, and in small groups outside of the classroom. She also helped out with activity based lessons, such as making pumpkin muffins and little Christmas boxes, and field trips, such as visiting Co-op or the Calgary Tower. Each day is different, but rewarding.
“I enjoy getting to know the students, as they teach me, too, and I admire their courage and resiliency.”
She had the pleasure of working with several teachers, and found both the teachers and students to be very welcoming. Driven by her love of teaching and love for the students, Leslie continues to volunteer every Thursday with LINC to this day.
Leslie’s 2020 vision for CCIS is for us to continue to work hard to make immigrants feel safe, gain confidence, and become a part of Canada. She advises new volunteers to simply,
“Love your students. Be patient and kind.”