Had our Thanksgiving supper at our place with my girlfriend, her sister and her boyfriend. We had a very satisfying meal, and of course there are some leftovers for lunches this week. It was nice to have a 3 day weekend. I know that I needed another day to get my head back on straight after the last few weeks. I'm still getting used to the students and their abilities in the classroom. I get frustrated when they still don't see me as being a teacher when I don't actually have my own classroom. I recognized this problem a while ago so last week I was trying out a new approach with the students that I work with. I'm going to have to continue what I'm doing for the next week as well to see if it's working any better than before. I just have to be patient I guess and wait for the students to build some trust with me.
This weekend was also good for taking the time to think about all the things I am thankful for. I love and miss all my family back home. I'm thankful that I have my girlfriend here with me that I love very much and couldn't imagine being here without her. I'm thankful that of what we used to have when we lived back in Ontario. Being in this community forces you to realize how easy we do have it back in the urbanized areas of Canada. It can be hard to keep these posts short since I'll step into one thought and it will spark a flurry of others that I feel I should write as well. Maybe another day...
October 4, 2008
The high school has students from grade 7 to grade 12. I work with two classes, one from grade 7 and one from grade 8 when they have Language and Math. If I'm not team teaching with the other teacher in the classroom, I'm working with a select few of students that need extra support in my office. The students that I mainly work with are extremely challenging for many reasons. These kids can show up hungry because they haven't eaten since yesterday morning. MTV has turned all these young high school kids into 'thugs'. They all wear hats or toques in school. Most of the hats are very flashy with money symbols and say "hustler" across the front and they all give props to one another as they walk through the halls. They speak quite slowly and we have gotten used to a lot of their slang. Part of my job is that I spend time working on the Individual Education Plans (IEP's) for identified students. So I take part in some extra meetings to figure out those details. Apart from school, I coach the girl's volleyball team at the school with the help of my girlfriend Lori. So far, things are going great and I'm really starting to get a feel for where I stand at the school and how to get through this year without a whole lot of trouble.
October 2, 2008
Once we landed here in Kugluktuk the first thing I noticed was the fact that there is no pavement, we landed on a long flat strip of gravel. Not that I was surprised. A local told us we were lucky that the runway was clear of caribou today.
The apartment we live in is surprisingly roomy. Our apartment is one in a row of five, all of them identical down to the smallest detail. It's the stuff you have and where you hang it that makes it your own. So living with 4 of us in here isn't a problem whatsoever. The apartment is in "New Town" which is on a higher level part of town, geographically as well as demographically. Most of the teachers live around us and the buildings are much newer than the rest in town. Walking to school we see huskies outside chained up, some were guarding a couple seals brought back from a hunt. The roads are usually muddy because it's been raining the odd day since we've been here. I find myself tucking my pants into my socks so they don't get all covered on the way to school. Everyone is very friendly, waving and saying hello as you walk about town, especially the children. We're settling in quite well, better than I had originally thought.