We can’t believe we’ve already been here for more than a week! Time flies when you are running around all day with classes here, meetings there and after school activities.
In the past couple days we’ve started teaching at Ikusik, the secondary school, and Pigiurvik, the elementary school. We have been teaching hygiene, safety, nutrition, and physical activity. We’ve been practicing the hand washing steps (hands are getting really dry!), teeth brushing and flossing (my dentist would be proud!) for hygiene. In safety we are getting pretty good at presenting RED as the treatment for cuts and bleeding and identifying all the different warning signs that can be found on household products. In nutrition, the kids loved drawing their favourite meal, and matching foods with their food groups. We sneakily added pop, candy and chips to the food to be sorted- and enjoyed watching the kids interpretations of which group they belonged in! In physical fitness, we transformed “Simon Says” to “Mélanie Says” and taught the kids that hamstring do exist and that it’s hard to touch your own toes (although the kids like to remind us that it’s not hard at all – while trying to hide their bent knees)!
While teaching we’ve come to realize many things. Although everyone tells us children have short attention spans, it doesn’t really click until you are standing in front of a class and you realize that half the kids are looking up in the air with their mouths open and looking at you blankly. We’ve become quite good at modifying our lessons on the spot to include more activities and use resources in the class room – even skits if that’s what it takes! We even had our first hand raised for a question today – which by the way is a really big deal! The kids are usually too shy or don’t think it’s cool to ask questions. The question box always brings up interesting questions – which proves that they are secretly listening to us (!) – but mostly a lot of “my favourite food is caribou” and “my favourite activity is hockey/basketball” responses. It’s also interesting to see that most of the girls are incredibly quiet and shy. One the other hand – some of the boys are big chatter boxes (especially our grade 5 and 6’s). We have planned a girl’s night for next week since most of the after school sports are taken over by boys. We hope to do some healthy baking, bracelet making, henna and other fun games. We hope that by promoting the activities in class and attending them ourselves other girls will be more willing to come. On Tuesday, Mélanie participated in the basketball club and Kat went to the jewellery club. While Mélanie and the boys at practice were being yelled at to do sprints by our drill sergeant, Kat was having difficulty keeping up with the girls in ring making (all 12 and under). After school on Wednesday a teacher vs. kids soccer game ended on an embarrassing note with our team (the teachers) losing and being forced to do push ups!
Our new love = breakfast club! We’ve been participating in the breakfast club which goes from 8:15 to 8:45 every morning, and all kids are welcome. This program is important, and man can these kids eat and eat! Not only is buttering and peanut-buttering toast at lightening speed fun, but this club is also a great way to get to know the kids outside of class.
On Monday we were really lucky to have the opportunity to “go out on the land”! We suited up for a breezy but incredible four wheeler ride into the snowy peaks. The view was unbelievable with the untouched white field and the shimmering light from the sun. The oddly placed rocks pierced through the snow appearing as though someone had lightly dropped them on the surface of the earth. On route we met other community members on their ski-doos coming back from ice fishing in the nearby lakes. We were hoping to see a fox or a wolf but Mélanie was secretly hoping to see a “Nanuq”, said “Nanook”, which is a polar bear. But our drivers assured us that we did not want to see a nanuq because we did not have a gun and our four wheelers were not fast enough!
In the week to come we are excited to start teaching at the Rehab Center (Sapumivik), have our first hip hop class (and maybe break dancing too if Mélanie can brush up on her skills), host our girl’s night and have our first movie night!
Hope you are well!