Cheeto Stained Fingers by Krystal Appeldoorn

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Dear Family, friends and followers of the Champions program,

My name is Krystal Appeldoorn and I am a second year Champion! I have been fortunate to return for a second year to Golden Grove Primary School, which is one of the largest primary schools on the Island, located in the heart of St. John’s. I have also been fortunate to teach for a second year alongside my teaching partner Brianna who has continually been my backbone throughout this amazing journey. As a second year Champion, I have taken on the role of Curriculum Coordinator with my partner (and roomie) Jen. Jen and I worked hard reviewing all the lesson plans to bring high quality activities that teach life skills and fundamental movement skills, that are appropriate for all different age levels including high school students! On the Island, Jen and I meet every night with all the Champions to reflect on their lesson plans from the day allowing the Champions to reflect on things that worked or things that could be improved for next time.

After my experience last year, I decided to return to “push my practice” and take this incredible opportunity to continue my growth at both a personal and professional level. Last night at our nightly red couch meeting, the Champions and I were posed with the task to reflect on how we have grown at a personal and professional level throughout this program. Though I am not an emotional person, I fought back tears in front of my fellow Champions as I shared my journey throughout this program over the past two years. I shared my personal growth of how I have become more social and how I have developed lifelong friends and memories that will continue to make me smile for years to come. This program has given me the confidence, guidance and skills to one day become a teacher; additionally, I am more motivated to share my knowledge and passion of physical and health education.

The Champions for Health Program has pushed me far beyond my comfort zone. It has made me cry more times than I would like to admit, made me lip sync a Michael Jackson song in front of a Governor General and dive into a dumpster to retrieve a student’s toy car after another student threw it in. The students have shown me more love then I have ever received in my life (and that’s even before lunchtime). I could never put into words the impact my students have had on me. I am forever thankful for my Cheeto stained fingers (the students love Cheetos) from doing one hundred thumb wars a day. My students have taught me many things I now know over 10 hand clapping games. They have also taught me patience and resiliency, which are traits I will carry through my everyday life.

As I finish up my Bachelor of Kinesiology degree I am thankful for Dr. Sheppard giving me the guidance to “push my practice” to help me continue my education to become a teacher. The courses I have completed at UFV have prepared me to achieve my goals and have had an impact on my life beyond the content written in my notes. Thank you to my fellow Champions, Colleagues and Dr. Sheppard for teaching me so much, I am forever grateful!

Krystal Appeldoorn

Golden Grove Primary

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