In the middle of our classic blog brainstorming session while washing dishes, our ingenious thoughts were interrupted by the sound of children’s stomping feet, shortly followed by the whaling of the fire alarm. When the children were asked by the Northern Store manager what they were doing outside, they responded, “we pulled the fire alarm!” … we appreciate their honesty. When we tried to give them an important life lesson about not pulling fire alarms when there is no emergency, they asked us with sheepish politeness, “why don’t you just turn it off?” Fighting back the laughter, we attempted to continue our scolding. So apologies if this blog is not up to par; our ears are still ringing.
We have had a successful first week teaching physical health: nutrition, hygiene, fitness, and diabetes. The kids really seemed to respond well to our interactive lesson plans. Our proud moment of the week was when we invented a pretty hilarious game for the Grade 6, 7, 8 classes where we gave them 30 dollars of fake money for the Northern Store, which we created in the classroom. The store included a wide variety of food items to choose from, which were organized into a produce section (the bookshelf), the refrigerated items (the window sill), and assorted dry goods (the back counter). From these items, the kids were instructed to make a balanced meal and “purchase” their items at the cash register (the fisher-price toy borrowed from the kindergarten class). A smashing hit!
We received some very well thought out questions and responses to our lessons. These were closely followed by some more…abstract responses. In the physical activity lesson (our first day of teaching) with the K4 class, we had a bit of a situation. You know…the classic teacher (Meagan) beats the student at a competitive round of Duck Duck Goose, resulting in many, many tears. In the nutrition lesson, students offered an array of new perspectives on nutrition that we had not previously considered. These included healthy meat and alternative items like mouse, spider, and our favourite, fart…Sarah’s response, “no, no we don’t eat that”. The diabetes lesson ran quite smoothly yesterday, other than the slight bump (literally) in the lesson, which will probably be appearing on Sarah’s head in the next day or two. Let’s just say recovery position gone wrong.
In between all of our extracurricular activities and lessons this week, we managed to have a chance to meet Levi (the Prescription Drug Rehab Coordinator for the Band Office), who gave us some great insight into the ways in which we can develop our program to meet the needs of the community. Levi is a very well respected and influential member of the community and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with him. After an hour-long discussion, he provided us with a comprehensive report and action plan for Webequie. We hope that in collaboration with this action plan and some of the other ideas he suggested, we can really create awareness in the community about the dangers of using prescription drugs. One of the ways in which we plan to do this is by setting up a booth at the career fair (an event attended by the entire community), to provide resources for support. We are really looking forward to planning this event in collaboration with the school, the nursing station, and the band office.
The teachers at the school have eased our transition into our first week of teaching by including us in their various games and activities. Yesterday we were invited to indulge in Bannock Friday, which was even better than it sounds (especially given our limited food resources back at the hotel). We were then introduced to the Annual Webequie Icebreak Competition – a prestigious competition that has increased in cost over the past few years; the $0.50 buy-in has now inflated to a whopping $10. The object is to estimate the exact date when the entire lake will be free of ice. The stakes are high, winner takes all, and Norman is the official judge. Things are heating up (and we are not talking about the dogs this time folks!) as the competition is cutthroat. At this point, we are not sure where our allies and enemies lie. We do not know who to trust – we have heard insider information from many sides. We are taking the weekend to contemplate our guess. Any bets?
The Tooter’s Tutors
Note: We are missing Bryan’s presence as he has returned home for the week and are only consoled by knowing: 1) He is still reading the blog. 2) He is coming back in 5 days and approximately 7 hours, 15 minutes, 37 seconds? 3) That he returns with food, such as the “cheap meat” we requested, to replenish our diminishing reserves.