My name is Selyen Singh; it is my first year in Antigua participating in the Champions for Health Promoting Schools Program. In the back of my mind when I entered UFV, I knew that Antigua was an option for me. My sister’s friends had been multiple times and raved to me about the amazing experiences they had. I love to travel and it seemed like such an amazing destination, but I thought it wouldn’t be for me as I am unsure that I want to pursue teaching as a career.
This all changed when I took KPE 221 with Dr. Joanna Sheppard; I began to learn about teaching fundamental movements, how to make it fun for the students, the importance of equipping students with physical literacy. After taking this course, I realized that you are always teaching no matter what you do; whether it is coaching, at your job, in the classroom, at home with your loved ones, or with your peers. I decided that my third year would be a good time to travel to Antigua with UFV and try out a new experience. The excitement was there, but with a busy winter semester the importance of this trip for my personal growth did not hit me until I stepped out of the airport upon arrival.
We hit the ground running and I wasn’t quite letting the experience all soak in. Mrs. Felix, the principal at my school, Villa Primary School, reminded us to take a moment each day to relax and enjoy all that is surrounding us. I am incredibly grateful to be at Villa with Mrs. Felix and the amazing students, they have showered us with kindness from the first day.
Heading into our first day on Monday, I was expecting to be comfortable managing the children and teaching our lessons because of my experience in coaching. I was mistaken as I did not have adequate class management skills, and teaching physical education is completely different than basketball. Today, after day three, I am happy to report that I am indeed improving my teaching abilities and I have been extremely grateful for my great teaching partners Claire and Dan who have provided so much support for me already. I most definitely have room for improvement, but the students’ energy is fueling my desire to improve I look forward to my progress by the end of the month.
Less than a week in and I have been profoundly impacted by the students faces every day. I may not pursue a career as a teacher, but these experiences will be with carried with me in my profession, and I hope to incorporate them to improve my coaching when I get home. I am infinitely grateful for this experience already as the ability to teach the students, and learn from them in return has been the greatest gift. Living in Canada is a privilege, but I believe all Canadians could learn from the zest for life that the Antiguan children possess, it is contagious and I am incredibly grateful they have filled my heart with their joy.
“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come.” – Ellen DeGeneres