Third Time is a Charm by Faune Nicholas

25 04 2016

Dear Past Champions, Followers and King Traditional School,

My name is Faune Nicholas and I am a 3rd year Champion / Stamper. Today was our first day at our schools in Antigua. In going back to Golden Grove for the 3rd year I am constantly reflecting on the years that have past.

In my first year everything was new, it was exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. I had no idea what I was doing when I was teaching and I focused more on being perfect than allowing my true teaching personality to shine. My first year was an amazing experience in itself, you are forced to open your mind and go with the flow. Despite the stress, you learn more about yourself by being forced outside your comfort zone than you do staying within it.

My second year, was amazing in different ways. I was Unity Games coordinator during that year which brought a whole new set of challenges. Trying to make sure that everyone is ready and prepared for unity games is an experience that all past champions remember. We all feel like we struggle and then the day comes and we rock it. Unity Games was one of the most thrilling experiences I have been a part of. It is a combination between the rush and stress of having everything timed and feeling the excitement and joy from having a new group of students all day long. It’s an experience I will never forget and one that taught me a lot about what it is like to be part of a team.

Thankfully this year we have an amazing Unity Games coordinator Jenelle McDonald, I wish her all the best and know that she will find success in this role. Sometimes, I forgot to be present. I was weighed down in the stress of making sure everyone was ready, organizing the mass amount of students, and trying to keep everything together. However, through this weight I also found strength in my peers. They are the ones who make Unity Games successful, they are the ones who push through the day with a smile on their faces despite their exhaustion and they are the ones who students remember year after year. That is what being part of a team is all about. It’s about sharing your experiences and being proud of the things you can accomplish together.

The UFV KIN/TEP collaboration has brought be back for a third year. I still remember my STAMPER Faye Junos; I remember how she seemed to always have a handle on everything. She was so calm and collected which truly inspired me to figure out how she was able to do all the things she did. Every year is different; this year I have made a goal for myself to be present in the moment. To enjoy all the things around me and celebrate the team that I am privileged to be apart of. This year, I get to be a mentor. I have gone through the Teacher Education Program and realized that there are many things I would do differently this year. I am so excited to be a mentor because I know how influential my teacher mentors (Debbie Stapleton and Sandi Johal) were for me. They inspired me to become a great mentor to the undergraduate and second year students this year. I have gained a new perspective through my practicum at King Traditional School. My students taught me to be patient, to have humor, and to be thankful for all the things that happen in a day whether good or bad. I could not be more grateful to have the teaching partners I have on this trip. I hope to be able to be a great mentor to Alyssa Theodore and Brandon Grant like I had. I can easily say that this experience has changed my life forever. These experiences are ones that I will carry through my life. This program has impacted me in ways that I cannot even comprehend. So to all of my loved ones back home and to my Grade 3 class in Abbotsford, thank you for supporting me so that I can grow into the teacher I want to be through this program. Furthermore, thank you Joanna Sheppard for allowing me to come on this adventure 3 times with minimal regret!



6 responses

26 04 2016

So well written Faune! Although I can’t relate to the third year, our first two years were similar and those are many feelings I had as well. Coordinating the Unity Games is definitely not an easy task but so very rewarding and I know you rocked it just like I know Jenelle will this year 🙂 The times that I went to Antigua have and will always stick with me in so many ways. They made me the person I am today, and I am so grateful for every stressful and fun second! Good luck champions!

26 04 2016
Dr. Joanna Sheppard

Thank you Courtney! You are and will always be a Champion!

29 04 2016
Sheryl MacMath

Faune…the students and teachers are so lucky to have your years of experience to support this exciting journey. Enjoy your mentoring role…I agree…being present is pivotal!

29 04 2016
Lesley Nicholas-Beck

it must be very rewarding having the opportunity to return to Antigua, not as a new unsure teacher but as one with experience to be proud of and share with others. While working from a collaborative, team approach the students and teachers learn valuable lessons from each other. It is so important to take the lessons learned from all knowledgeable people we encounter through our lives and find way to integrate those lessons to build story’s for internal growth. These lessons can then guide future choices and steps to becoming valuable and effective teachers that work from a place of understanding and compassion with the children in the classrooms. Congratulations Faune and all of the champions for being adventurous and good luck with all of the many choices you make today and all of your teaching careers. Well done again Joanne for producing another team of talented teachers.

2 05 2016

What an powerful experience to have gone back in different roles and with different identities each of the three years! Faune, you will be an incredible mentor because you are so reflective and because you valued the mentorship you received in practicum. Lucky KPE partners and students to work with you! Third times a charm…pay it forward!
See you soon, Awneet

3 05 2016
Gavin Beck

Champion is a very fitting description for all who have experienced being part of this program.Theory in class is a necessary component to achieving your degree. To live and experience firsthand the challenges of teaching in a foreign environment, to witness and feel the joy and appreciation of your young students will cement your decision to fulfill your career as a Teacher.
Faune has exemplified this in her personal and professional growth each year upon her return from Antigua.To be able to put at ease the newbies I know is gratifying for you Faune as you really appreciated the same support on your first trip. Congratulations to all and as always Faune, very proud of you. Joanna, your commitment to this legacy program is a lifelong gift to all the Champions who have traveled there. Thank you so much.

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