Once a Champion, Always a Champion by Amrit Cheema

8 05 2017

Dear Friends, Family, Alumni Champions and Supporters;

Hello, my name is Amrit Cheema. I am a 3rd year kinesiology student at the University of the Fraser Valley. This is my first year in the champions for health program and I am currently teaching in Piggots Primary. In Fall 2016 I discovered the champions for health program. I was sitting in my health promotion class taught by the one and only Dr. Joanna Sheppard. With just a brief introduction on why she started the program I knew without any hesitation that I wanted to be part of the team. I have no pervious teaching experience whatsoever but the amount of respect and trust I have for Dr. Sheppard was enough for me try something completely out of my comfort zone. Volunteering at the old folks home made me realize I have a deep passion for helping others and this experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help out in such a tremendous way. I am fortunate to be one of the many undergraduates that are helping out multiple schools across the island. This is a large scale effort that is only made possible by the amazing teamwork our champions possess.
Today embarks the first day of the second week. I am starting to understand the rhythm of teaching and learning how to modify lesson plans to the best of my ability. Fortunately, I am paired with the wonderful Arden Holmes who recently got accepted into the teaching program. To be working with someone so passionate about teaching it has changed the way I approach each student.
When I first arrived I was nervous and uncomfortable with the thought of taking over the classroom with my little experience and knowing I have the power to change the mindset of these children put a lot of pressure on me mentally and physically. I had major concerns over the environmental conditions and the energy level of the kids. I was trying to focus on listening to my body to learn to adapt in balancing my energy expenditure.
Now after a full snapshot view of how each day at school will look like and the preparation required for the unity games I am able to better focus my energy into the right direction in the correct amounts. Being that I have a slight type A personality knowing the class schedule and format gives me the information I need to prepare for each class. The children at my school are incredible. Just being around them lifts my spirits. They are the definition of what it means to just be a kid. Their creativity runs wild and their hearts are filled with so much love. Back home in Canada many kids are missing out on physical activity due to the increased usage of technological devices such as cellphones,  tablets and laptops. At Piggots you are greeted with hug after hug and high fives swarming your way. These students truly know how to make someone feel at home. With one look they become completely engaged in your presence and they try their best to capture as much time as they can with you. Teaching these students is the biggest reward I have ever given to myself not only do I feel so appreciated but for once in my life I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of others.
I feel confident in both my ability and my teams ability to complete the champions of health program 2017 successfully. Once again thank you Dr. Sheppard for this amazing opportunity.


Amrit Cheema
Piggots Primary




3 responses

8 05 2017
Jenepher Sheppard

Hi Amrit….. Way to “take a chance!” As I know you know…”If you don’t put up the ball you won’t make the basket.” but boy, it is really scary sometimes isn’t it? Don’t be too worried about your love of organization. A piano professor once said to me (many years ago) that organization is the foundation of creativity. I have found this to be very true. So, organize away and then…..FLY! You ARE making a difference, both to yourself and to the children you are teaching. Enjoy!!

8 05 2017
Jenelle Atkinson

You captured the positive spirit of the Pigott’s students so well! I miss those shining faces dearly. You are at a wonderful school and have such a natural, engaging teaching partner in Arden. I love hearing the impact you are making on those wonderful students. The best part is, I bet they’re making an even bigger impact on you! All the best with the rest of your experience! Keep up the great work.

9 05 2017
Surinder Cheema

Hi Amrit and the team mates
What an awesome experience, so fortunate to enjoy the country/ culture
Thanks for posting your experiences and pictures, it feels like we are part of your journey.
Keep posting, joy to read/ follow your experience
Thank you,

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