Hello again! Ever heard second is the best? Well, we are here to confirm that our second week has been the absolute best!
This past week was our first full week in the classroom, and we are so, so happy to say that we have now met all the Junior High classes (grades 7 to 9) at Nasivvik. At the beginning of the week we continued our introduction lessons, which included a lot more games of Two Truths and a Lie, and even more shockingly skillful showings of the Human Knot.
We have now been able to see all six classes three times, which means that we have been able to begin talking and learning about health in the classroom. As with the Grade 4s in our first week, we started with a lesson on nutrition for all the classes, where we learned all about the different food groups on the Nunavut Food Guide, why we want to be eating lots of country food (like seal, caribou, fish, narwhal, and so many others), and why “Sometimes” foods should only be enjoyed sometimes. We also talked about why we should “drop the pop,” and did a really fun activity where we tried to guess exactly just how much sugar was in a single can of pop by pouring white sugar into a container. We were all shocked to learn that ten teaspoons of sugar go into one can of pop, and even more surprised that in a slushie there are twenty-seven teaspoons! We all agreed that we would almost never think of eating a bowl of sugar on its own, and if we ever did we would know that it isn’t a healthy choice, so we shouldn’t be drinking all that sugar too often, even if we can’t see it. We now have the help from a few students who press the arrow key to change our slides for us, which makes lessons a lot easier, and we didn’t even have to ask!
With the Junior High we also talked about hygiene, and how we can keep ourselves clean and smelling good. We talked about washing our hands as often as we can (especially before we touch our face), changing into clean clothes after we sweat a lot, remembering deodorant, and brushing our teeth when we can (especially after we drink pop because we don’t want the sugar and the acidic bubbles staying on our teeth for too long). With the grade 7s we also learned about puberty, but only a little (as we know they were very happy about). It was just a reminder of how our bodies and emotions can, and will, change a lot in only a short period of time. For the older classes we talked about physical activity, but since gym class and afterschool sports are almost always well attended by the students, we didn’t talk so much about getting enough exercise every day, or every few days, but rather why exactly our bodies and our brains feel so good after we are active and why we should always remember to be stretching.
We were also able to visit the Grade 4 classroom again this week! What we did with the class was a lesson on hygiene, with the focuses being on remembering to brush our teeth before bed, coughing into our sleeve, and washing our hands after we come inside from playing outdoors. We played a super fun game of ‘Hygiene Bingo’ all about how to keep ourselves clean and what germs are, and once again, we were so excited at how well everyone played with stickers. We promised the class that we would join them for gym class next time, so we better remember our running shoes next week!
At Ulaajuk this week we also had the amazing opportunity to meet a new class, which were the Grade 6s. We learned about alcohol, and we talked about the reasons why someone might choose to drink, what alcohol does to our bodies in the moment and over a long period of time, and how we can keep ourselves safe if we were to ever drink, or if others around us were drinking. We made sure to make it to the Health Centre before the lesson to be able to pick up lots of fun resources from the storage closet to use, like a cup that has the measurements of the standard drink sizes on it as well as the ‘Drunk Goggles’, which stimulate what it’s like to have too much alcohol by blurring our vision and are a class favourite every year.
On Tuesday evening we also had our first afterschool event, which was Girls’ Night. We had heard so much about Girls’ Nights from the year before, both by last year’s PEs as well as the students in Pond Inlet, and we were so excited to be able to host our own and are so thankful that Nasivvik’s administration was so onboard and that we were able to have an awesome teacher supervisor for the evening that helped us with cleanup! We baked and decorated cupcakes in the school’s kitchen, and then had lots of nail polish and hair elastics in the gym. This past week was also Mental Health Week, so we painted a poster that will go up in the school that says “Mental Health Matters” with all of our names on it, and we were able to start the conversations that we will be continuing in the classrooms in the upcoming weeks (with the boys too, of course). We were so excited to have almost 40 girls hang out with us, from Nasivvik and Ulaajuk, and we were just as grateful that they knew where everything was in the kitchen because the cupcakes would not have gone as well as they did if it were only us two in the kitchen. We were however a little naïve that the girls would want to be in the gym without being active, so there were lots of impromptu games of Human Knot (all voluntary we swear!) and freeze tag. A highlight from the evening was a few of the girls asking if they could drink pop in front of us- and then them deciding that they would save the can for tomorrow since they had already had pop that day.
We are loving all the curious questions that are being asked during the lessons, and in the Question Box, the selfies (usually all on our own phones whenever we put them down), the dogs that follow us on our walk to school, and the specialty teas from Tim Hortons. A few more updates are that Hailey found her glove on the road without looking for it, Addie found out that Hailey really means it when she says she hates eggs, and we are officially on our second container of peanut butter. Music Club is also becoming part of our routine, and this week Hailey learned how to play chess (did she understand it whatsoever, who knows) and Addie got lots of advice on which anime series to watch. On Saturday night we also went over to a teacher’s house, with Pillsbury cookies in hand, for chili and for our first, start to finish, NHL game that either of us have watched in many, many years. We are now both Winnipeg Jets fans, if anyone was wondering.
With love from the North,
Hailey C and Addie B