Dear beloved and devoted blog followers,
We refuse to acknowledge that we’re halfway through this enlightening adventure known as initiative. So don’t remind us. We never want to leave.
This was both a busy and successful week of teaching for us! Our lessons this week focused on the effects of smoking and healthy sleep habits. We found that these topics really hit home with the students and we found that they were much more engaged in our activities!! We have also just started to figure how to crack the grade nine-too-cool-for-us class. This week we decided to start each lesson with a warm up activity: the human knot, rabbit in the hole etc… (shout out to Lily, our fearless Program Director, for the suggestion)!! These activities were really successful in warming up the students and their brains for our lesson. So successful in fact that the students solved the first human knot in record time, then wanted to redo it over and over again!!
Highlights from this week include:
- Second run/walk club meeting yesterday (8 runners showed up to leave us in the dust!)
- Watching a Salluit vs. Inukjuak hockey game at the local arena!! (ALL of our students were there)
- Helped in preparing for the Talent Show hosted by Youth Fusion tomorrow (May 20)
- Finding the Salluit gym and working out (and being very sore)
- After school cooking club, arts and crafts and breakfast club Thursday morning!
- Found the youth centre!!
- Hitting #40 in lessons taught (GO US!)
- Brought face masks into the girls only IPL classroom for a lesson on self-care
- Found out that students reaaaaally enjoy Coffee Crisp chocolate bars and really DO NOT enjoy tea
Fabulous Funny story of the week: who is your crush? who is your love? do you have a boyfriend? why not? how old are you? who are your 4 friends? where is your home? These are all examples of questions that we are being peppered with on a daily basis. The students are so curious! Although our answers are less than juicy, our friends love learning more about our lives and we LOVE learning more about theirs too! Another trend that we have picked up on during our time here is that either the boys will yell our names and wave furiously orrrr straight up ignore us and pretend we don’t exist… so funny! we love it!!! (*cries inside*)
Classy Classroom story of the week: As mentioned above, this week’s lessons focused on smoking and its effects on the body. At the end of each lesson we would write down a list of resources on the board to help in quitting smoking or to help reducing the amount we smoke. Most students would glance in the direction of the board and maaaaybe read the resources provided, but that would be about it. BUT, in one of the classes, a student that had been uncharacteristically quiet during the lesson grabbed a slip of paper and started copying down the phone number, website and extra info we had provided. It was a real “success” moment for both of us.
It is often difficult to see the direct effects of our lessons on the students in the short term. Seeing the student copy down the resources was one of those rare moments where we could see our teachings getting through to someone. It was great. Abby hasn’t stopped saying “WOW” since then. We are both very proud.
Furthermore, we continue to teach at the Boys Rehabilitation Centre and had a really successful lesson there this week. We incorporated throwing bouncy balls into baskets, jumping jacks and have taken a more dicussion-based approach to our lessons. We found that this really worked and are starting to see the boys warm up to us. (Although some still ignored us when we said hi at the hockey game…)
ANYWAY, we have also discovered the youth centre in the middle of town and strive to hang out there a few times a week for a few hours. The youth centre is a building filled with open space for sports (like ping pong, pool or floor hockey), rooms with TVs and gaming consoles and even a room where the kids are growing their own salad greens and heirloom tomatoes! We want to spend more time there to get to know the students better outside the classroom and to also give them a chance to better know us outside the classroom!
Overall, this was a great week for both of us and we are looking forward to our remaining two and a half weeks here. (But pls don’t remind us we’re halfway…)
Abby & Emma