And we’re back with another Team Mish update…as they say, better late than never.
Sorry that we’ve been less than prompt with our updates but bear with me, this one’s juicy. The past two weeks have been full of action, leaving little time for self-reflection, let alone an occasion to weave together the intricate tapestry that is colloquially referred to as blog-writing.
First and foremost, we would like to extend a much delayed but equally eager Happy Mother’s Day wish to all the mothers out there, especially ours, Fiona and Julia. We celebrated you here in Pickle and Mish by participating in a number of local Mother’s Day Festivities. We had the honour of acting as adjudicators for a Mother’s Day short-story competition in Mishkeegogamang, we helped to facilitate two Mother’s Day dances and finally, we had the chance to serve at the famous Mother’s Day Brunch in Pickle Lake. Not only was this a great opportunity to get to know local families and students better in an extracurricular setting but most of all, it allowed us to take a moment and give back to the mothers in our communities who have given so much to us.
As I am somewhat of an aficionado of poorly used clichés, I will use the phrase “get in there like a dirty sock’ to describe our time thus far in Pickle Lake and Mishkeegogamang. Over the past two weeks we’ve had the opportunity to try moose meat and bannock, we’ve gone camping and fishing, we’ve learned how to set rabbit snares and we’ve observed the proper way of skinning and gutting a beaver. It’s been a truly interesting experience and learning from those around us has allowed us to better understand the culture in which we are teaching and hopefully become more effective teachers as a result.
And that brings me to the part of the blog post where I talk about the whole reason why we are actually here, and that is the teaching. Day by day we find we are not only becoming more comfortable in the classroom but we’ve also improved in communicating our lessons to students using different strategies and mediums in different classrooms. The learning curve’s been quite steep but we find we are now into the groove of things and are quite excited about how are lessons have been going. We’ve finished our leadership, teamwork, goal setting & decision-making, hygiene and nutrition units and have now moved onto physical safety. We are currently discussing the detrimental effects of smoking with the older grades while focusing more on fire, road, animal and water safety with the younger children.
This past week we also held our first Boys-To-Manathon event at Crolancia. This rite of passage involves boys in grades 4-8 participating and competing in a number of tasks that are equally challenging and ridiculous. We had obstacle courses, monkey bar challenges, a bazooka building competition, a spaghetti dinner and a dodge-ball competition. We had an awesome time with the boys and the night was an absolute blast. Upcoming events that we’re super pumped about include a joint Crolancia and Missabay Girls night held in Pickle Lake and our Boys-To-Manathon at Missabay.
In other news, we went to the dump and saw four bears in a single tree. (This was previously alluded to with a slyly placed pun)
Nick & Heather
And now for Grandma Pearl’s favorite part of the blog post!
Top 5 New Experiences & Lessons Learned
1) Bears, Bears, Bears– have I mentioned the bears yet? Anyways, I’ve seen bears before but never like this. Never have I seen so many bears in one little tree, I felt like I was witnessing some Northern spin-off of The 12 Days of Christmas.
2) Bannock Dogs- Our recent camping experiences have offered us insight into the strange and beautiful art that is campfire cooking. All you do is you take a hot-dog, wrap it in bannock and then let it sizzle in a pan full of oil. Ten minutes and half an occluded artery later, you’re in hotdog heaven.
3) The Dodge Caravan- Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate such performance from a rental van. This vehicle is wild. The thing stows-and-goes like it’s going out of style and handles dirt roads like a baja truck. Unfortunately, we have recently learned that it does not make the most comfortable of beds.
4) Classroom Management is Nothing Short of an Art- We have gained a deeper appreciation and respect for teachers everywhere that are responsible for molding the minds of students while maintaining a peaceful and functional classroom. We have much to learn.
5) Fishing- Just because you find yourself with a fishing rod in your hand and are situated in one of the best fishing locations in Ontario, that by no means makes you a fisherman/woman. Collectively, we’re still sitting at an even zero in the catches department.