Rough Days Build Resilience by Elizabeth Oliva

3 05 2017

Dear Family, Friends and past Alumni Champions,

Fourth day on the island already, it’s amazing how fast time goes by! My name is Elizabeth Oliva, I am a 1st year champion and a 4th year undergrad student at University of the Fraser Valley. I am currently working towards completing a Kinesiology major and a French minor to which I plan on using to become a secondary school teacher. Currently, I am at T.N. Kirnon Primary alongside my teaching partners Marissa Corea and Cole Young. I am beyond excited to be at my school and work with my fellow teachers to further help educate our children. 

Today was day two of teaching and wow it was quite the contrast to my experience yesterday. On the first day of teaching everything was running smoothly and I felt so at ease. Teaching felt natural. Today however, there were curveballs being thrown at us from every direction. Nothing really went according to plan. Today’s events ranged from thinking on the fly, to modifying games to fist fights and disagreements amongst students. Our first two classes were intended to be physical education for Grade 2 but the rain converted those plans into health lessons indoors. We were then supposed to teach two joint Grade 6 classes PE, but again it began to rain and we needed to move them indoors. Although today was definitely more of a challenge than yesterday I am grateful it happened. Grateful because it is important to be exposed to both ends of the teaching spectrum. I learned so much about class management, my peers, and about myself today and I feel these challenges will help me become a better rounded educator in the future.

 I enjoyed interacting with my students and further developing our connection. I spent almost all of lunchtime playing with them, yesterday the hot game was Shame, Shame, Shame. They taught me that game and in return I taught them my favorite hand clapping game ‘Lemonade’ and before I knew it I was alternating games with each student. Each time I meet with my students I can quite plainly see how excited they are to see me and that provides such a level of appreciation and exuberance. They genuinely just want to play and they just want to learn. It motivates me to continue my path and to embrace all the challenges I am presented with.

After our school day was over, we all headed back to our hotel. We had a short break for dinner and time to catch up on each champions day before we geared off to prepare for our big entertainment debut. We are preparing a dance number to help our Champion schools Adele and Victory at their talent show fundraiser.  Afterwards we headed to our nightly curriculum meeting and Red Couch Meeting (heads up, the couch is actually green). Before long it was time for bed to rest up for the following day full of activities.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I have been granted with. With only being on the island for these few days I have already begun to notice a change for the better within me and I’m excited to see what new adventures await us. I have been so happy throughout this journey and although some days will have greater barriers to overcome than others, each day is part of the experience and I need to remember to take my experiences, learn from them and move forwards with an open mind.

Thank you for your continued support, it is all appreciated by us Champions and especially by all the children with smiles brighter than the Antiguan sun! 

Elizabeth Oliva
T.N Kirnon Primary



3 responses

3 05 2017
Jenepher Sheppard

Hi Elizabeth…It sounds as if you learned one of the most important rules in teaching…..”Fake it till you make it!!!” You will surprise yourself by being able to conjure up a whole lot of great ideas on the fly; strategies that you never knew you knew! Congratulations on getting through a tough day with your smile still intact. That is the sign of a really great teacher in the making! Remember to breathe and go to the bathroom mirror, look straight into your eyes and say…” I DID THIS AND I’M PROUD OF MYSELF!”
(P. S…. I really want to see this dance!)

4 05 2017
Courtney C.

The couch used to be red, I promise! Hahaha I am a past champion from 4-5 years ago and can competely relate to your day today. There will be tough times but keep on smiling and working hard, enjoy the rough days and the good days. Once you’re home they will all be great memories no matter how stressful the day 🙂 …the tough days will probably be the best experiences you have.

14 05 2017

Hola Liz, aquí echándote porra y seguí adelante pues el camino se hace al andar aquí estamos viendo tus experiencias y haciendo comentarios positivos ya dentro de unas semanas estarás de regreso y esto será un recuerdo muy bonito en tu vida. Aquí te esperamos con los brazos extendidos como el muñequito que es la insignia de los Juegos Olímpicos 2012. Hinukak.❤️ Tio Miguel

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