Scooby Dooby Doo…Where Are You? by Arden Holmes

13 05 2016

Dear Friends, Family, Alumni Champions and Followers;

Hello, my name is Arden Holmes, I’m a first year undergraduate champion and I’m teaching at Pigotts Primary School. Today marks the end of the third teaching week and the 2016 Champions team have definitely hit their groove. As I was looking around today, briefly, during Unity Games it’s apparent that all the undergrad champions are growing their teacher presence and confidence in their abilities. Before I go into the details of today, I want to thank the STAMPers and second year champions for being exemplary role models and teaching partners.

Our third Unity Games day started at 8:30am when we met in the Anchorage Inn lobby to pile into the vehicles. We then set off on our convoy over to Golden Grove. The students greeted us with smiling faces; some running right up to the door before we could even get out! I love their energy. Every morning at Pigott’s we are greeted with warmth and excitement, which pumps our tires as Blair would say, and it totally re-energizes me. While the students were doing their morning prayers from 9:00-9:30 the champions set off into the field to set up our games. We had to be quick so we could be ready to meet our grade six leaders and get our group of students. My game was for grade four/five. Once I got my students, we ascended onto the field – imagine in your minds a whole school of students in lines of twenty making their way onto a field. As usual it was a bit chaotic but we are practiced now after three weeks.

By 11:45 when it was time for the students to go back into the school to receive their lunch meal, my throat was hurting and I wanted a nap. Then something funny happened: I kept hearing students at Golden Grove calling, “when can we go to teacher shaggy,” or “there’s teacher shaggy,” and I thought this was an odd name but I had no idea who they were referring to. Later on our way out of Golden Grove I happened to be in the car with fellow champion, Kevin Ruggles and students were running past the open windows calling, “by Teacher Shaggy,” and not just one kid but all of them. I turned to look at Kevin and I realized they were talking about him! Kevin said that they didn’t tell the students to call him this. They came up with it on their own. He really does look likes Shaggy from Scooby Doo! This was our big smile moment for the day!

On our way to the second school of the day, we ended up at Fort James beach for a lunch pit stop under a big tree. Yes there were ants, yes there were spiders but this didn’t stop us from eating in the shade and enjoying a moment of peace by the ocean. After lunch we took a photo (of course) and made our way to Villa Primary School.

When we pulled into Villa we were greeted by more excited students and I knew I had to shake off my tired, achy feelings from doing unity games once already, and be just as pumped to see these students as we were in the morning. I’ve learned that it is really important that at every school and with every new group of students to be just as excited and stoked to be teaching them as the first group of the day. They are so happy to be playing with us and they deserve our best. All the champions did such as great job again at Villa Primary. It was another successful Unity Games day. Special thank to Jenelle MacDonald, our unity games coordinator for organizing us – you are a huge part of how smoothly all three of our unity games days have ran!

We have a busy week ahead! I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s festivities. Tomorrow morning we have the Wings Basketball Tournament and we are hosting the Teacher BBQ at the Anchorage Inn in the evening for all the teachers and staff of the schools we are working in. Also we will be joined by some fresh faces from Canada: Brian Justin from UFV’s Kinesiology Department and three past Champions. They will be with us for this last week and we wish them safe travels tonight!

In closing, I want to say a big shout out to my family, friends and teammates from UFV Rowing – I miss you all and I trust you’re well! To my STAMPer Jenelle Atkinson, you’re an inspiring and kind person! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work with you. I learned a lot and I plan to stay in touch after this trip. To all the past champions who’ve come before us and Dr. Joanna Sheppard for being the passion and muscle behind this amazing program, thank you! I feel so blessed to be here and I plan to spend this next week enjoying my students, the island and continuing to improve my teaching abilities.

Arden Holmes
Pigotts Primary



4 responses

13 05 2016
Jenelle Atkinson

Miss Holmes, you are a rockstar! It sounds like such a successful Unity Games day (as per usual). I’m sure as soon as you got to Villa, you were just as energized as the kids. You have always shown that special quality. Every time we went to Pigott’s, you were just as excited to see the kids as they were to see you. You match their energy and that’s so important, especially on Unity Games days! Haha, I got a good laugh about “Teacher Shaggy!” I’m sad the STAMPers weren’t there to be a part of that moment!
What an exciting weekend you have ahead! Say hello to all of the staff at Pigott’s for me at the Teacher BBQ tomorrow and enjoy a wonderful evening with them.
We will most definitely be in touch after this trip! You and Kirsten have been such wonderful people to work with and I love coming on the blog to see the successes that you two are having on the island. I look forward to seeing you both when you get back!
Keep working hard Champs!

13 05 2016
Melanie Pawluk

Well Done Champions!! Pictures say a thousand words and they are showing us all that you are all working hard and doing a amazing job. Yes, children do have a lot of energy and I have been trying to figure out how to bottle it and sell so that we can keep up! LOL Enjoy another much deserved weekend! I can’t believe that week 3 is over for you all!! Your last week is going to fly by so rest and relax and get ready to shine bright! 🙂 Regards, Melanie Pawluk

14 05 2016

Great post Arden! You have really captured some important points in your post. Doing the Unit Games is undeniably difficult at times. You pump yourself up for the morning and leave your all there, and then must get into the White Knight and do it all again. Re-gaining that energy can be extremely difficult. However, as you mention, the next students have literally been thinking about their afternoon games all morning and deserve to see just as much energy as the morning group. This isn’t a lesson to be learnt for Unity Games day, but for all capacities of life, especially in the teaching world. Teaching is a difficult job because you must put yourself and your own emotions aside in order to present the best of yourself for the sake of your students. This isn’t easy. To have learnt this lesson so early on in your career is huge.

I hope the last week goes incredibly well, soak up every second of it! Enjoy the weekend festivities as well! I can’t wait to see photos from the BBQ. Can’t wait to see everyone when you all return!!

14 05 2016
Gina Ruggles

Omg, Kevin really does look like shaggy! I never thought about it until you said it. He truly does, that too funny.

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