Dear family, friends and followers of the Champions,
Let me start off by introducing myself, my name is Sara Erickson and this is my first year being a part of the Champions for Health Program in Antigua. For the past three years I have heard nothing but great things from friends who have previously been a part of this international experience. After taking KPE 221 with Dr. Joanna Sheppard, this class opened my eyes to what it really takes to become a physical education specialist. Jo has helped to rekindle my passion for teaching and physical education. KPE 221 has equipped me with the skills to properly lesson plan, manage my time, and create the most effective ways to teach fundamental movement skills.
I have been fortunate enough to be placed at Pigotts Primary where I have been teaching health and physical education lessons ranging from Kindergartens to Grade 5 students. Throughout a short three-week time period of teaching, I have already created such strong bonds with the students and staff. I remember getting out of the car on my first day feeling nervous, which quickly disappeared as we were happily greeted with hugs and smiling faces from the students. Through such a warm welcome I was happily reassured that this next month would be filled with fun activities and laughter.
Throughout this experience I have been faced with many challenges that have pushed me beyond my comfort zone, providing me with opportunities for personal growth. One of the biggest struggles that I work on every day to improve is my self-confidence. During my first few days of teaching I felt some discomfort through my voice and body language during my lesson plans. Through the weeks of collaboration with my teaching partners, I feel as though I have begun to find my teachers voice, becoming more comfortable in a classroom setting. Even when I have a lesson plan that didn’t go so well, I am constantly reminded of the positives as the students at Pigotts are always overflowing with laughter and good vibes.
Tomorrow is Unity Games where we all work together to run different activities. Each week I look forward to meeting all the new students among other schools and creating those connections. We will be busy tonight prepping our lessons and perfecting how we are going to teach each of the games. Our last Unity Games is next Friday and I am so thankful that Pigotts Primary will be a part of it as that will be the last time I will see my students before heading back to Canada. I hope to leave them with positive memories and words of encouragement that they will be able to cherish forever.
“Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”