It is the end of our second week here in snowy Salluit and we are feeling both accomplished and enthusiastic about how teaching went this week. Throughout the past eight days of teaching we have now learned which classes require A LOT of activities to keep them engaged (ahem grade seven, boys), which ones love our colourful and animated picture examples and the classes that benefit most from casual, laid-back discussions.
This week at Ikusik School we covered mental health in grades seven and older, focusing on stress management, healthy relationships and bullying and conflict resolution. One of our favourite activities brought into the classroom this week was a communication exercise in which the students had to use verbal communication to instruct Kendra how to brush her teeth with her eyes closed! She was lucky enough to get to brush her teeth a record breaking FOUR times throughout the school day! We also enlisted a class of 15 year old to help us both create and untangle a human knot. Much to our surprise, this task was not as easy as we had originally anticipated and definitely put our communication and problem solving skills to the test. We owe a shout out to Jon Kwong for the card activity, which helped students to understand the effects of stigma based on the high or low card they recieved. This was a huge hit and loved by all of our classes.
On Tuesday morning we were given the opportunity to teach at Quannaq, the Adult Education Centre here in Salluit, about the link between nutrition and physical activity and mental health. While teaching how to read nutrition labels and discussing the four food groups we were pleasantly surprised by the student’s entusiasm and interest for our lesson On top of that, we also got to meet and swoon over a couple of their adorable babies!
While life inside the classroom ceases at 3:45 each day, we have begun to get busy after hours, getting to know the students in many different ways. Situated directly behind our temporary home, we’ve begun regular hikes up the mountain. By enlisting groups of girls that are looking to hang out and stay active (a little incentive provided by the small chocolates we bring as a reward for once we’ve reached the top), we have gotten to know some great students here! They don’t seem to be at all phased by the cold weather we’ve been experiencing here (-13 degrees!!!), unlike Kendra who seems to be in a constant chilled state.
However, luckily we get to warm up and show off our dance skills with the kids at Salluit’s Youth Centre when playing “Just Dance” on Wii. Even though there are only four controllers, it somehow always turns into a fifteen player game. At the Youth Centre we have been included in countless games of tag, embarassing games of pool and the occasional computer game. This place never seems to disappoint- it keeps the kids busy, gives many teenagers a part time job and gives us great opportunities to bond with the crazy but kind hearted children of Salluit.
The latest news in Salluit is the GIRLS NIGHT we organized on Thursday after school… verdict = HUGE SUCCESS. Main attractions included: crafting bows for our hair (American Apperal doesn’t have anything on us!), Mother’s Day card making and nail painting. We had over twenty-five girls join in on the festivities which lasted from after school all the way until 7:00pm! Time flies when you’re having fun right?
As for the weekend we are keeping a fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow (and by good weather we mean clear skies and wind that doesn’t knock us off our feet, literally!) as we have been invited to go on two different snowmobiling adventures by some of the teachers at Ikusik. If all goes well we will be sitting in a wooden sled behind a snowmobile this time tomorrow- Kendra will surely be bundled up TO THE MAX and Lauren will most likely be snapping pics. We’ll get back to you on that one!
Stay tuned for….
- slumber party girls night
- our upcoming suprise event for the boys of Salluit
- STI talk, guest starring a Nurse from the Nusing station
- a mystery activity for the P.D. Day next Friday!