Fake it till you Make it by Cassidy King

Dear family, friends and followers of the Champions for Promoting Health in Schools Program,

My name is Cassidy and I am a first year Champion teaching at S.R Olivia David Primary. As most of my fellow Champs know, my biggest concern prior to arriving in Antigua was whether or not the students were going to like me. This concern was quickly swept away on my first day when I was greeted by twenty kids that latched on to me like leeches.

Today was not a typical day for me because I not only taught at my school, but I had the privilege to teach at Jennings Primary in the morning. As we approached the pink school with cows roaming in the field, my stomach was fluttering with nerves. With that being said, my teaching partners Jenn, Libby and I were welcomed with open arms by Mrs. Solomon, her faculty and the students during prayers. Although I was worried about all the unfamiliar faces that would be looking up at me, I quickly came to realize that I was still surrounded and showered by that familiar Antiguan smiles. The primary focus of our health lessons with the students at Jennings was conflict resolution. This consisted of providing students with skills in order to recognize the varying ideas and opinions of their classmates and learn ways in order to address these differences.

Once the bell for break rang, Dr. Joanna Sheppard and the White Knight were ready to take us back home to S.R Olivia David. As we were driving I began reminiscing on the heart wrenching feeling that I had in the previous week on the last day of school. I was going to be leaving the students that I had just began building connections with for the first time as we approached the Labour Day long weekend. This feeling triggered my eagerness to bring the best version of myself to my students in order to effectively provide them with knowledge and love as we interacted throughout the day. To hear my name being thrown around the court yard like a celebrity, brought me so much happiness. The focus of our lessons today at S.R were centered around the life skill of patience. Not only did the students connect and engage with the life skill today, but my patience was challenged as five of my students went sprinting after the balloons being used in our lesson as they were swept away with the gusty winds of Antigua.

Throughout my experience so far with teaching I have learned two important factors that allow me to be adaptable and go with the flow. First, preparation is key, and you can never have too much of it. I find that going into each lesson having a thorough game plan allows me to adapt to the many changing conditions of the varying groups in front of me. The second key factor that has allowed me to be adaptable and go with the flow is confidence. Confidence is definitely something that is hard to find for me here, as I am constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone. Therefore, I’ve developed a ‘fake it till’ you make it’ mentality for those moments in which I lack self-confidence. As my teaching partner Libby Biln said to me today “You don’t need to be a superhero because the kids already love you.”

I am so grateful to have been chosen to be a part of this program in where I can apply and expand on the skills that I have acquire through my education at the University of the Fraser Valley. I also look forward to the many connections that I am yet to build with my fellow Champs, Antiguan colleges and students during my time here on the island.

Cassidy King
S.R. Olivia Primary

4 thoughts on “Fake it till you Make it by Cassidy King

  1. Your words really resonate with me today Cassidy! I think your concern about your students not liking you is something we all teachers share, because we care about our students, we want them to know how much we care, and we value the importance of relationships. There is no doubt that your students in Antigua adore you. You will likely not even realize the impact you have made on their hearts and how much they care about you until your last days on the island, although it sounds like you got a glimpse of that today upon returning to your “home” school.
    As for your confidence, I hope it puts you at ease to know that confidence always comes and goes. There have been many times this year where I have asked myself “What on earth am I doing?! How did I become a teacher?! I don’t know what I’m doing!” Even just this afternoon, I had one of these moments with my class. I’m starting to try to appreciate the times when I don’t feel confident because it means that I’m being challenged and have an opportunity to learn and try again. In the meantime, just keep soaking up your time with your students, have fun, and know that you’re impact is far greater than you even realize!

  2. Cassidy, that is all part of the wonderful learning process, and you are taking away the valuable lessons of building confidence, practicing patience, and adapting as necessary…..you are doing great!! It looks and sounds like you are all having fun, creating some wonderful memories, building those skills and experiencing life lessons 🙂 Can’t wait to see more from the trip…..

  3. Sounds like you’re having a great time, Cassidy, even if, at times, it is a little nerve wracking!. Preparation is important to be sure, but believing in what you are doing is equally important and that you obviously do. You go girl.

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