The Last Drive by Krystal Appledoorn

Dear Friends, Family and Followers;

My name is Krystal Appeldoorn and I am a Kinesiology student at the University of the Fraser Valley. I applied up for the Champions for Health program because I have always had a passion for teaching, and this program would allow me to further explore my passion under the influence of a different culture. Little did I know that this experience would teach me so much more than the culture itself.

Today was my last day at Golden Grove Primary School, which is a day that I will never forget. I have experienced many challenges throughout this past month, but none greater than the challenges that I was faced with today. My day started like any other, I drank my coffee, hopped into the car and took a final drive down the road to Golden Grove. A usual 20-minute drive which felt more like an hour. After arriving at the school, I was greeted by many students who were running up to me, smiling and giving me the biggest hugs you could ever imagine. By this time I was already crying… but after a quick pep talk with myself I decided that I was going to make the absolute most of my last day with the students. After shaking off my emotions I packed up the equipment and made one last trek out to the playing field. The life skill that I was teaching during my lesson plans today focused on respect. My grade one class was difficult as usual, but I managed to keep calm despite the disorganization. Over the past month I have learnt so many things such as resilience within organized chaos, which I am proud to say is now a skill of mine.  Though each class was difficult to teach just knowing that it would be my last, I managed to continue to stay focused and energized throughout the remainder of the day. I’ve spent the past month trying to find a healthy balance between having fun while still remembering that I am here for professional reasons. I’ve spent hours diving into the meaning of each life skill so that maybe…just maybe, my students would be able to further connect to each skill on a more personal level. Next time my students are in an argument I hope they will be able to think back to our lessons together and remember respect. And maybe next time my students are struggling they will remember to take a breath and be patient. After leaving Golden Grove today I am able to continue on knowing that I have taught these students the life skills, which they will be able to carry on throughout their future days and years.

The courses which I have taken at the University of the Fraser Valley have given me the knowledge and confidence to be successful within my teaching practice both in the classroom and on the field. Studying Kinesiology has taught me not only how to utilize every aspect of the human body, but also how to help others live a healthier life. I am grateful that UFV provided me with the strength, aiding to my own person growth but also for the knowledge to help others grow. Dr. Joanna Sheppard has given me the confidence and direction I have needed for my future career path. I am appreciative of the work she has done to give me the most perfect month, that I will remember in my heart forever.

I am excited to close my experience with Unity Games at Adele, Victory, Piggott’s and T.N. Kirnon Primary Schools tomorrow.  I appreciate the experience I was able to have at not only Golden Grove but also other Primary Schools on the Island, which are all an equally amazing part of this program. Though I spent most of my time at Golden Grove I was able to build connection with many students throughout Antigua. I am honoured to have experienced such support, love and guidance from my colleagues and the champions team.

Krystal Appeldoorn,
Golden Grove Primary School


3 thoughts on “The Last Drive by Krystal Appledoorn

  1. I am at unity games today and just looking at how this amazing group of UFV students are just smoothly providing movement, fun, and life skill training packaged into a games format to these wonderful children at Adele. Way to go Champions! You are superheroes in my eyes! JoVengers you have assembled!

  2. Congratulations to ALL the Champions on a successful teaching experience in Antigua. I have enjoyed reading your all posts so much; hearing about your successes and struggles; how you overcame them with strength and determination. You will leave a part of your hearts there with the children but you will take a part of theirs home with you to remember always. Have a safe journey home and give all your loved ones big hugs when you get there. They have missed you and are enormously proud of you and all you have accomplished.

  3. Krystal another great read, it’s so exciting to follow you all and hear your experience through your blog posts! And what you’ve put to use from your studies and just taking in the whole trip, challenges and emotions and all!! A great memory for you and inspiration for continuing forward. I agree with resilience through organized chaos, somehow in those situations you pull through, it’s so great! Safe travels home!

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