Hello family and friends!
Our official QHO teaching is now complete! It has been a busy week of tying up loose ends and running special afterschool events. We most definitely spoke too soon with our “Spring has Sprung” post of last week- there has been LOTS of snow since then, making Pond Inlet quite snow-covered once again!
This week in the classroom, mornings were spent with a group of students in grade ten at Nasivvik. As these students have participated in QHO for the past several years, we focused on building on their knowledge. Our discussions centered on dealing with addiction and on sexual health.
We continued teaching our curriculum with the grade 7, 8, 9 junior high students and were excited to introduce a new topic- Sleep health! Getting enough sleep as a teenager is made much more difficult with the seasons of 24-hour light and 24-hour darkness. The students filled out sleep calendars and we discussed strategies for getting enough sleep. We also taught lessons this week on TB, diabetes and physical fitness. To keep the students engaged during their last week of school, we made sure to add in lots of activities and competitions between the students!
Our highlight of teaching this week was undoubtedly moving on to our Future Directions unit with the junior high students. We discussed goal setting, leadership opportunities within Pond Inlet and options for further education after high school. This was a great opportunity for us as well to learn about programs offered at the Arctic College and about the Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) program in Ottawa. We were so excited to hear about all of our students’ future goals. Watch out Pond Inlet you’re going to have some great future pilots, teachers and scientists!
The junior high students also had the opportunity this week to read some pen pal letters from students in Webequie, Ontario- another QHO northern location. The students have always been very interested in the other communities that QHO works. Thanks Webequie for your awesome letters! The students wrote their own pen pal letters about Pond Inlet and wrote about their favourite foods (seal meat-of course!) and activities (hunting and crafts!). We all had a blast reading and writing our pen pal letters and can’t wait for other QHO students to have the opportunity to learn about the Pond Inlet community.
Another eventful moment in our week was when we performed our “Health Rap” to our grade 9 students. Early last week one of our students asked us in our Question Box whether we could write a rap for them. SO…We spent all weekend writing rhymes and eventually came up with a wicked rap.
Afterschool this week was spent running special events and helping paint the grad decorations. We helped one of our students paint a large narwhal to be hung in the gym for the upcoming celebrations. On Wednesday afterschool we also participated in the annual “Walk So Kids Can Talk” to raise awareness of mental health support available in the community. We walked with students from both Nasivvik and Ulaajuk through town and then out to the iceberg! The walk was followed by a beach barbecue right next to the sea ice. We can bet that isn’t something people hear about every day! We definitely had a blast with the students.
Friday afterschool we hosted a Queen’s Health End of Year Party to celebrate all of the great work the students have done with us over the past five weeks. Over 40 students attended the festivities included basketball, balloons, bracelet making, and then finished off with watching Despicable Me 2! We also munched on cupcakes which we had worked on for over 4 hours the night before…Let’s just say that one tin is not enough to bake 80 cupcakes in a short amount of time.
This week, we also got a new roommate- Debbie! Debbie will be staying in our place, which we have now named “The Hostel”. Debbie is an enthusiastic biologist who worked and lived in pond for many years. She is up in Pond for a week collecting some information for her PhD! We have greatly enjoyed staying up late, chatting about the wildlife and learning so much from our new roommate.
Our weekend was spent having dinners with friends and watching some blizzards outside of our window. The weather should clear up before we leave Pond Inlet this Thursday, which will hopefully give us some last breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains! We can’t believe how fast our time in Pond Inlet has flown by and will be sure to thoroughly enjoy our last few days in this Arctic paradise.
Lots of love,
Erin & Kelsey (and Bylot and Debbie!)