Who’s Teaching Who? by Marissa Corea

27 04 2016

Dear Champions Alumni, Family, Friends, and Followers of the Champions Program,

My name is Marissa Corea and I am a 1st year champion so every experience here is brand new and exciting for me.  I am currently completely my undergraduate degree at the University of the Fraser Valley in Kinesiology, with a focus on Pedagogy. I have never really been put in a position where I am working with children all day long, so not only is this experience brand new for me, working with children in general is new for me. Coming to Antigua for the first time is such a change of pace for me, I just finished my exams for the year back home, in a very quiet, calm and controlled environment and coming here is the complete opposite, chaos, on chaos on top of more chaos.

The students at TN Kirnon are so beyond excited to see us everyday, you walk onto the school grounds and instantly there are more than 100 eyes on you. They just want you to acknowledge them, to play with them, and teach them. At TN Kirnon, the students unfortunately have not been participating in PE class all year, due to staffing shortages, so the minute they see you, they are bursting with excitement to let out their energy and play.

Today in particular really showed enthusiasm the students had to learn participate, but it also truly made me realize how important adaptability is as an instructor. This being my first time, I think I was quite naïve about how challenging this experience would be for me individually. Last night, I had my bright and shiny brand new lesson plan (that I wrote) in my hands, and thought about how expertly planned it is and how organized I was for the day ahead of me. Then when I got to my first class of the day and put my plan into action, absolutely NOTHING went right. Planning on paper is one thing, teaching 30 grade 2’s full of so much energy (who are not feeling particularly cooperative), is another thing completely. Feeling so frustrated that my lesson was not working was extremely difficult for me, but it made me think to myself, “yes, okay, this is not working. Don’t freak out, how can we simplify this, how can we make this easier. What can I do personally right now to make this lesson more successful”.  I needed to adapt, and change my activity, so I pulled all my students back in and we changed some rules and made things more clear. I think it’s just a big realization that no matter how prepared we are as teachers, or in life, things might not go the way we obviously wanted them to go, so we become flexible, we change things.

Maybe it was not the most successful class, but my Third year teaching partner Rochelle, and all the second years and TEP’s here with me in Antigua are really helping me to realize that just because one lesson does not go right, if you can reach one student that day, that’s okay. I am supposed to be teaching here, but I am the one learning the most.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, Thomas Edison.

Thank you so much to Dr. Sheppard for allowing me join this program and learn so much here, and thank you so much to all the family, friends and those who follow this program. We love to see your comments!


Marissa Corea



5 responses

27 04 2016

Awesome! Keep up the great work!

27 04 2016
Jenepher Sheppard

Well Done, Marissa. You’ve learned the BIG lesson……”when it isn’t working, change the plan”! The first day is always the hardest; keep the faith and you will find your feet. I am glad you have so many support systems there to help you find your way. YOU GO CHAMPION!
Jenepher Sheppard

27 04 2016
Melissa Pawluk

Go Marissa!!!

29 04 2016

Proud of your resilience….keep up the great work!!

29 04 2016
Lesley Nicholas-Beck

Some of the most valuable lessons we learn in life often come with a sense of discomfort. It is how we use those moments to self reflect and move forward is the essential lesson. Being self aware allows us to gain deeper understanding of not only ourselves but of others. We are never in relationships alone, be it with fellow champions or with young people in the classroom. Being open and empathetic with ourselves helps us to be present and available to others. The champions has strength in encouragement, experience and guidance for each other and that is something that will support any challenges along the way. Exciting times!

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