Warm smiles, Warm weather and Warm experiences by Nicola Esau

16 05 2018

Dear Friends, Family and Followers of the Champions,

My name is Nicola Esau and I am a first year Champion teaching at Golden Grove primary school. I have just completed my third year as a Kinesiology student within the Pedagogy stream at the University of the Fraser valley. Though I have completed my third year of University, I am still on the search to discover what I want to do with my future. Most of my life I have wanted to become an art teacher up until my last year in high school. In my twelfth grade I took an Honors Human Anatomy course, which I absolutely loved and realized this is what I wanted to learn more about in university. Since I started at UFV I have loved and learned so much from every class I have taken. When I heard about this program, I realized I can apply what I have learnt and hopefully discover if teaching physical education and art is the direction I want to go with my future. What better place to discover your future than in the Caribbean!

Currently we are within our third week of our Program and I have yet to have a bad day. There are days that are more challenging than others, but often that is due to a day I am being stretched out of my comfort zone and faced with a new situation I have not yet come across. I am however incredibly thankful for these experiences because it is these days I have learned the most about myself. I am learning everyday how to become a better teacher through these moments. Through these moments I am challenged to modify lessons on the spot to create the most optimal learning experience for the students. Through these moments I am learning how to be more aware of every word or action I make and how to further strengthen relationships with both students and teachers. These ever-developing relationships we are building it is incredible to have the opportunity to collaborate on such an influential topic such as health and teaching.

As many have mentioned before, you will never really know what to expect when going on this trip until you experience it, since it is different for everyone, every time. This even applies to every class you teach. Today was evaluation day for part of our team. This is part of our course when we are videoed and evaluated on our teaching. Once Dr. Joanna Sheppard has watched the videos of us teaching, we will be provided with constructive feedback to further enhance our teaching. Since teaching in Antigua has been my only experience teaching, I can say I was quite nervous for today. However, as the time came to be evaluated, the stress disappeared, and I managed to just focus on the students, teaching the lesson and having the best time while doing it.

Overall, this trip has left me so full. I have learnt more about myself, teaching and health, but one of my most favorite aspects of this whole trip is the Antiguan people and their country. As I was flying in my jaw dropped at the beauty of this country. The turquoise waters, the green “mountains”, the 300+ white sandy beaches and colourful buildings. The people are so warm hearted, generous and lively. Being immersed within this school setting has given me the opportunity to experience this culture every day, which I am so grateful for.  For these next 10 days, I hope to continue to try new things, continue to learn from them and take in every minute.

Nicola Esau
Golden Grove Primary School

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17 05 2018
Jenepher Sheppard

I’ll bet your evaluation went well today, Nicola, because you went ahead and focused on your work and your students. I hope you went into the bathroom when you returned to the Anchorage Inn, looked at yourself in the mirror and said, “I did it! Good for me!” You go girl!
Jenepher

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