Hello friends, family and other followers of the Champions for Health blog!
My name is Jenais (the one on the right!) and I am one of the Teacher Candidates from UFV’s Teacher Education Program. So much of what I had learned so far in this program had to do with translating theory into practice and effective pedagogy, so I was very eager to join my fellow Champions for this international teaching opportunity!
Just two short weeks ago, my colleague Ash and I arrived on this beautiful island. We were warmly greeted into the Champions for Health family with open arms (and a team cheer, of course). After an exciting weekend trip to the emergency room after slipping off a rock and into a cactus at Shirley Heights, we got right to work! I was so eager to meet and get to know the students I would soon be teaching.
At Potters Primary School, I had the pleasure of teaching and learning alongside champions, Jordyn and Jas. It was a privilege to work with and mentor these two; both were filled with enthusiasm, dedication and an eagerness to push their practice. At Potters, I got to work right away, making as many meaningful connections with the students as I could. The students’ acceptance of me into their classrooms and steadfast willingness to learn is something I will never forget.
This may not come as a surprise to you, reader, but teaching in Canada and Antigua are very different! Teaching in Antigua has pushed my practice for the better, forcing me to adapt and refine my teaching practices in ways I hadn’t experienced before.
As I look back at these past two weeks, I can’t help but feel emotional. This experience has been a remarkable opportunity for me to appreciate Antiguan culture, make meaningful connections with both my students and colleagues and also grow as an educator. Participating in this intercultural exchange has allowed me to open my mind to different ways of thinking and learning. I find that I learn best when I am pushed outside my comfort zone and challenge myself and I think that this project has allowed me to do just that.
I’d like to sincerely thank Dr. Sheppard and my fellow colleagues in the Champions for Health program. Your passion for experiential learning and dedication to pushing your practice was inspirational and I feel honoured to have been a part of your family. Enjoy every moment of this last week!
Potters Primary School
UFV Teacher Candidate