The first week of teaching has come to a close and we have learned so much! Highlights of the first week include talking to various community members, teaching QHO’s first lessons at Deh Gah, beautiful sunsets and doing fun workouts!
Since our last update we went to the Health Centre to speak with the mental health and addictions counselor and Social Workers, who provided us with loads of valuable information and teaching resources! Because of these conversations, we will be able to tailor our lessons to focus on relevant health issues in culturally sensitive ways. It has been so interesting to learn in depth, first hand accounts about Fort Providence after all the months of preparation. Some issues we hope to address with the students include: Sexual Health, Healthy Relationships, Self-Esteem/Self-harm and Substance Abuse. We hope to speak with the RCMP and work with the program coordinator at the Friendship Centre.
So now you know what we’ve been learning… What about the students?! The students have been so welcoming, greeting us whenever we see them in the school. Last week we began introducing ourselves and teaching some basic topics. WE INTRODUCED THE OH SO FAMOUS QUESTION BOX !! (Pictured below) We both had a grand time getting crafty and decorating this very important anonymous box. Essentially, after every lesson, we allow students to ask ANY question they might have in the box. We encourage each student to write SOMETHING in the box, which as you can imagine some questions are not always on topic. Some examples : “How long was your trip?”, “What colour do you like?”, “R u single?”, “Have you ever dyed your hair?” and the classic, “Hi, whats up?”. These little messages bring smiles to our faces, but we also really, truly appreciate when students ask serious questions. We always take the time to think through our answers and hopefully provide realistic and helpful answers. We’ve received some great questions regarding healthy eating, bullying, respect and growing up. Overall, we love the question box!
After an introductory lesson with the 4/5 and 6/7 grades, we gathered questions at the end our lessons and learned what a lot of the kids are interested in learning! Common interests of the students include: Drawing, soccer, listening to music and even baking! A lot of them expressed interest in learning about healthy eating and sleeping habits so we’re definitely going to touch on those subjects in the coming weeks. In addition to our lessons in the classroom, we have been informed that we will be heading out to the schools “Spring Camp” on the land. There, the students will be spending outdoor time with teachers, doing various cultural activities. We will be working with the JK to grade 3 students in the mornings for a few weeks, and in the afternoons we will return to the school to teach the older grades. In the mornings, we have been asked to focus on topics such as : Bullying, teasing, how to say “no”, healthy friendships and respect.
So, what do we do outside of Deh Gah Elementary? Most days, we plan lessons in the morning and gather materials for the afternoon classes. We plan on beginning after school activities soon and we look forward to it. Presently, we spend after school time planning lessons, going on walks and going to the gym! We are so fortunate that the school has an incredible selection of equipment that we, as well as the students, have access to. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there is also a womens only Boot Camp run by Patrick, a physical literacy facilitator. We’ve had a lot of fun so far doing these workouts with fellow teachers and staff at the health centre – We’re so happy to be staying fit on initiative !!
This weekend we ventured out of the house (which was difficult because it was snowing!) and walked along the beautiful Mackenzie River. We’re loving the daily sunsets (they happen late at around 10pm) and we also like watching the ice slowly crack (SEE PHOTOS BELOW).
We can’t wait to tell you all about our first full week teaching! And remember, May the 4th be with you!! (haha)
your favourite girls,
M & E in Fort. P