Open Minds and Open Hearts by Robyn Kempers

2 05 2017

Dear Friends, Family, Alumni Champions, and Followers, 

Hello, my name is Robyn and I am a first year Champion, so every experience on this island is new for me. I am currently working towards completing my bachelor degree in Kinesiology with a focus in Pedagogy and a minor in Geography at the University of the Fraser Valley. I was placed at Potters Primary School with my teaching partner Blair. Potters Primary returned to the Champions for Health Promoting Schools Program this year and I am excited to be there representing the program.

Today was our first day of school and being a first year Champions I felt nervous and excited. I was eager to see what the school looked like, meet the principal and faculty, and of course the students. Once arriving at Potters Primary, Blair, my teaching partner, and I were welcomed with open arms at the car by the physical education specialist and principal. After a short meeting and collaboration with the principal and specialist we were introduced and able to observe our first class at Potters. Seeing the students in the classroom I began to relax and feel comfortable with being there as if I had always been apart of the school. We continued introductions throughout the different classes at the school and seeing the excitement and happiness on all the students faces only made me more thrilled to be there.

Before I knew it, it was time for lunch and the students began to swarm. They were all so curious, asking about what it was like back home in Canada, how long it took me to get to Antigua, and why are we not here with them all year. These were only some of the questions that gone thrown my way. Although I wanted to give each student my full attention, it was difficult when you are completely surrounded and being dragged down by a group of students. However, it made me feel appreciated and important that these students welcomed me in such a positive and heartwarming way. Although being slightly overwhelmed with the students I got to get to know a few names and about what they like to do at school or at home. After some very brief introductions I got escorted to the field to learn some new games. I learned to play rounders which is a batting and fielding game that is crossed between cricket and baseball, it does need a little modifying, but I can work on that throughout the month. I also learned a classic hand clapping game called shame, shame, shame so naturally every student close to me wanted to play it with me. I had the chance to play passionella which is kind of a copycat game where different students are randomly selected to go in the middle of the circle and dance. Somehow I was randomly selected to go second however I had not yet figured out the game but the students thought it was fantastic.

Once the bell to end lunch rang the students did not want to go to class because they were unsure if we were leaving and when they would see Blair and I again. This only reassured me on why I was there and the difference I can make with these students. With only being interacting with them for less than an hour the some students and I made a connection that was irreplaceable. Although I am only here for four weeks I hope to strengthen these connections through my teaching and interactions with the different students in order to give positive results of the Champions for Health Promoting Schools program. I cannot wait to begin teaching all the wonderful students of Potters Primary in the upcoming weeks.

Thank you all!

 Sincerely,

Robyn Kempers
Potters Primary


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2 responses

3 05 2017
Kevin Ruggles

Robyn,
You bring up some excellent points considering you are so early into your journey into this program.
It is sometimes hard to realize how much of an impact you have on someone until that relationship has come to pass but your ability to recognize that so early on is testament to your connection to the students.
Keep on working hard and enjoy your time with the kids!
Kevin

6 05 2017
Bill and Helen Kempers

So interesting! Continue to make a difference!

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