Read what teachers, students, and parents have said about their experiences with Yanna
My child experienced great difficulty transitioning from junior to senior high. At the same time they were also diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. During this dark time an extraordinary teacher named Ms. P. (Yanna) appeared in my child's life. She took my child under her wing and gave them the tools they needed to learn to face the world. My child graduated from high school with honours and has adjusted well to university and living away from home. As parents we are so thankful for Ms. P., she understood my child like no other teacher had. Ms. P. is the angel of all teachers. We are forever grateful that our paths crossed. Today, my child's dorm room has many photos of friends but the one that is most dearest is the one of my child and Ms. P. on graduation day.
Grateful Mom, December 2019
I initially met Yanna while I was a student teacher partnered with one of her co-workers. As an awkward, shy and insecure student-teacher, I was somehow instantly drawn to Yanna. It took only a few hallway run-ins before she quickly became my sense of comfort and safety (in addition to my advisory board and on-call therapist) in this new environment. As a shy individual, I hardly open-up to others, yet alone strangers in a professional environment. However, with Yanna it was somehow different.
Yanna has this indescribable aura and positive energy that easily draws individuals in and allows them to both trust her and trust in her. She makes you feel listened to, cared for and trusting in her wisdom. Even in the most anxious of states, her calmness overpowers you. Her caring eyes, her calm voice and her well-chosen words always reassure you that you will be okay. Together, they re-strengthen your confidence in your own capabilities.
It wasn’t until three years later, when I was going through a mini quarter-life crisis, that I truly felt Yanna’s magic and impact on my life. I had just gotten out of a long term relationship and had undergone a career change. Starting an entirely new life, I suddenly found myself stressed, overwhelmed and terrified. I also began to question my worth as a teacher, a woman and as an individual.
In this state, Yanna was the first person I thought of to reach out to. I quickly found myself reaching out to her each time my energy dipped. She has an unparalleled ability to ask questions that motivate me to organize my thoughts, separate what is a fact and what is a passing feeling, and all this while re-storing my optimism for the future. Her empathy allows you to form an honest connection, one where you feel her genuine concern for your well-being. Her charisma and sense of humour helps shine light in even the darkest of circumstances. I would call her upset, yet hang up laughing.
I keep in mind a lot of the advice that she has given me so I can self-talk in those rare moments when she is unreachable. She has taught me a productive way to reflect on my feelings by asking myself “what hurts?” and then “why?”. These simple questions silence the array of thoughts in order to help uncover the root cause of the hurt, anger, and pain so that I can focus on healing that. She has also helped me put myself in other people’s shoes and understand their perspective as a way to ground my experience and build my empathy for others. Most importantly, she would always remind me to never say I’m not ready for new undertakings or life experiences (which I was constantly saying), but to instead trust that these experiences have arisen precisely as a result of my readiness. She would always remind me that believing in myself was the most important step to happiness and success. Somehow, this came to me easier knowing how much she openly believed in me and my capabilities.
Over the years, Yanna has become somewhat of my guru/ favourite stand-up comedian helping me navigate through whatever life brings me from relationships, my career to my sense of self- worth. She has a piece of advice that she offered me which exemplifies who she is: stop listening to people as soon as you hear the words ‘you should’. Yanna does not use those words as she does not dictate to you the path you ‘should’ walk on, instead she helps you create your own path and establish a sense of self worth....... and this entire process is accompanied with lots of laughter, wisdom and lasting friendship.
Maja D.- Teacher, October 2019