Dear Family, Friends, & Followers of the Champs Program,
Hey everyone, for those of you who don’t know me my name is Cassandra Furey-Cameron, but at my school T.N. Kirnon I’m Teacher F.C, which the students relate to either football club or K.F.C, but that’s alright, at least they remember my name. I just finished my third year of my kinesiology degree at UFV and have taken classes through the pedagogy stream such as KPE 221 and KPE 360 which have prepared me greatly for this experience. This is my first time with the Champions program. I applied for the Champs program because after teaching abroad in South America and Africa I fell in love with the work. Also, after taking numerous classes with the incredible and knowledgeable Dr. Joanna Sheppard, I knew that this would be an impactful and beneficial experience for both myself and the students I am teaching. Dr. Sheppard has been an excellent leader for us all here on the island.
We are just over the half way mark here in Antigua and I can not believe how quickly the time has gone by. The first day of school seems like it was ages ago, but at the same time it feels like we just arrived at our home here at the Anchorage Inn. It has been a wonderful experience so far. It is true that time fly’s though, especially when you’re having fun and learning as much as we are. Today sadly though we had to say goodbye to one of our teammates, Tsandlia as she heads back to Canada. Safe travels T!
As a team I think we are all settled and comfortable here on the island and with the roles we are playing within our schools and our students life. We have been working hard over the past two weeks to develop connections to our teammates, the teachers in the schools, and most importantly the students. Personally, I have connected with one young student in my school who has different abilities. We have our own room in T.N Kirnon to store our equipment, have lunch, and review lesson plans. This one student would always sneak in and refuse to leave or listen to my teaching partners or myself. Over the past two weeks though I have seen major improvements in this student. Both inside and outside the classroom. Just the other day the student had entered our room yet again, but when asked to return outside the student left promptly without arguing, yelling, or refusing. I am learning quickly though that not everyday will go as smoothly. Sometimes students talk back, won’t listen, fight, or just completely disregard every single word I say. Honestly, today was not one of the best days I’ve had here in Antigua. But I am very thankful for my 2nd year mentor, Liz, for supporting me throughout the experience. Truthfully, there have been many ups and downs as I am learning to be a better teacher, (mainly ‘ups’) but I am learning to go with the flow and that each new day means a new opportunity.