Bitter Sweet- By Jennifer Cooper

Hello family, friends, and followers of my fellow Champions,

For those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Jennifer Cooper, and this is my first year in the Champions for Health Promoting Schools Program. I am in the Bachelor of Arts program at UFV, with a major of Geography, and a minor of Kinesiology. I was so excited to come here to put my passion for teaching at work, and learn as much as possible, since my end goal is to be an elementary school teacher. Thanks to this program, I have learned how to teach physical education and health through life skills, alongside my fellow champions and teachers here in Antigua. I am currently teaching at S.R. Olivia David Primary, with my teaching partner Cassidy King.

This journey as been undoubtedly incomparable to any other experience I’ve ever had with children. Every skill and sense has been put to the test and pushed to the limits, while positivily impacting these students. Every day has a new experience, different lessons, and life skills to teach that makes everyday special and exciting. All the students are just as excited and eager as we are to teach them and show them we have in store for them every single day.

Today was the start of my last week at S.R. Olivia, and the students are already making me cards, giving me big hugs, and enjoying every minute we have together. I had luckily got a chance to also teach at Jennings Primary School on Tuesday mornings, and we already had to say some goodbyes to those students and teachers. I’m having so many mixed feelings and emotions on this last week in Antigua. My heart feels heavy knowing that I may never again get to see these students and teachers that I have gotten to know and love so much. I will miss every student, teacher, friend, teaching partner and roommate from this program, but I will never forget. On the other hand, I am quite excited to see my loved ones and my cat at home in Canada, as well as share my experience with them all. I don’t think I can thank Dr. Joanna Sheppard enough, for the school experience, island experience, and the connections with my fellow champions.

S.R. Olivia has many quotes along their school walls, but the one I like the most and applies to my experience is “mistakes are proof that you are trying.” Each and every day I have found a new opportunity to better my teaching skills for myself, and for my students.

I’ll end with the words of Scarlet Witch from the new Avengers movie, “Everyone’s story begins ‘once upon a time’ – it’s up to us to cherish the time we’re given to ensure we live happily ever after”

Jennifer Cooper
S.R. Olivia

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