Shoot for the stars so if you fall you will land on a cloud by Justin Dhaliwal

Dear Friends, Family and Followers of the Champions Program!

I choose this title for my blog because it has stuck with me throughout life (I am a sucker for a corny quote). More importantly I choose this title because it applies to a wide range of goals and professions. I am a firm believer that if you try your best nothing can stop you other than yourself. This is important because Dr. Sheppard expects our best; we can’t call ourselves “champions” without justification.

I would quickly like to thank my friends and family for all that they have done for me and continue to do. I also would also like to thank Jo for the difference she makes not only in my life but in all of her students, not every professor has a profound effect on their students.

Today we didn’t have school, but we still wanted to make a difference. We went to Paaws (the local pet adoption centre) and while here we cleaned the enclosures and helped out the staff with their duties and of course, we pet the cute doggos and kitties.

As I write this we are getting ready to attend a tea party hosted by Adele (the school for students with disabilities). Rooming with Kenton I have had the pleasure to hear about his and his teaching partner, Kalyn’s experience working with these wonderful students. The tea party was a pleasant experience and our hosts were so polite. The point of the smile café is to help the students learn skills that will help them run the café.

I contemplated being a teacher in grade 12, but ultimately settled for a different career path. Then as I took Kinesiology classes I decided I needed to change the path of my education. When I felt unsure of my future, career wise, Jo pointed out my strengths as a teacher and more importantly the areas that needed improvement (not weaknesses because we can improve on them!) It has been a great experience using the teaching skills that I developed at UFV, and working in a country vastly different than Canada has only added to my tool box.

I have had the pleasure to work at the school that I was placed at last year and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with the same kids and teachers that I have already created a relationship with. I can’t stress powerful it was talking to kids I met last year and calling them by their names and just seeing the emotions exuding from them. I want to cry every time. I love our inside jokes and calling them by the nicknames I gave them last year. As little as these moments may seem I hope the children realized they have claimed a spot in my heart. And when I have to wake up early knowing that I going to see them is what gets me up.

After last year I decided I needed more experience working with kids so I started volunteering at a school back home. I did this because I wanted to be as helpful and supportive to my teaching partner as my mentor, Liz from last year was for me. I just hope that I am half the mentor that Liz was to me as I am to my teaching partner Kristen, who is amazing as well!

Anyways I will leave the readers with my favorite quote that has made a huge difference in my life and I hope it does the same for you.

T.N. Kirnon

5 thoughts on “Shoot for the stars so if you fall you will land on a cloud by Justin Dhaliwal

  1. High Fives Justin!!! Keeping shooting for the stars cause you also may find an infinity stone!! (You opened it up for me to say this!lol) Great to hear your connection with the children and the building of your toolbox! Teaching is an evolving process that never ceases. Enjoy the C.A.N.I. process- ( constant and never-ending improvement – I learned this one from Tony Robbins). Great work to you and all the JoVengers!!

    1. Thank you!! If I find an infinity stone I’ll make sure to hand it to you for safe keeping. I can’t wait to get back home and teach the wonderful program you made for CDG.

  2. Justin… So happy to see that you are part of the UFV Champions program again this year. I can imagine that your students were very excited to see you back and greeted you accordingly! As well, you will be able to take the knowledge you gained over the year and apply it to this year’s experiences. I think you have found your calling; reaching for farther stars, as it were! Good luck, Justin.

    1. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words, Jenepher. It was quite the experience to see how the kids grew over a year. For example last year a Student in K would always run up and hug me, but never said a single word. This year she runs up hugs me and actually says things. And I can’t help but agree that I am found my calling :).

  3. Congratulations on your work and successes there Justin!
    All the best to all the 2019 Champions as you make UFV and our Faculty of Health Sciences proud of the work you’re doing.

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