We can’t believe we’re already writing about our final week of teaching, how the time has flown!!! This week we really took the time to appreciate each moment, play games in each lesson and we had such a blast!
It was a busy week for the students at Simon Jacob Memorial Education Center (SJMEC) as most of them had to take either the EQAO test or the CAT 4 standardized test. Despite this, we are so grateful we still had the opportunity to come in to each classroom for some fun health discussions! This week we focused on the topics on nutrition, germs and physical activity with our younger students. Some of the weeks highlights included our K4-K5 students giggling all throughout our freeze dance game as we learned about physical activity, our grade 1 students becoming experts about the different food groups and identifying “sometimes foods” that are sugary treats, and how much our grade 2 students adored playing our “germs edition” of the mafia murder handshake game.
With our older students we touched on the topics of mental health and physical activity. All the students really showed us their artistic and creative sides as during the mental health lessons: our grade 4 students made cootie catchers with good self-care practices on them, and from grade 6 to High School the students coloured in their mandala-style animals. It was so great to see all the students so engaged in the discussions on mental health and mental illness as by the end of each lesson, everyone was so good at identifying mental health myths from facts! Another highlight of the school week included our physical activity lessons where we discussed why exercise is important, and our students learned to check their heart rates! With our third and fourth grade students we were able to have these lessons in the gymnasium which gave us lots of room to race, and play all sorts of fun games such as “Huckle Buckle” which allowed us to see how exercise increases our heart rate. Our grade 3’s in particular really enjoyed playing parachute games which definitely gave both of us big feelings of nostalgia as we remembered how to play “Cat and Mouse” and “Lifeguards and Sharks”. We also had a really great lesson on physical activity with our grade 6 students as we emphasized the importance of teamwork and we had such a good time laughing with them throughout the “Human Knot” activity! Later in the week we also got to join them in a game of baseball where Gabi finally got to start practicing for her summer baseball league. Lucky for us, no one seemed to be concerned with trying to make it to the MLB so it was all in good fun!
Outside the classroom our week was as usual pretty busy and filled with lots of outdoor activities (that’s just the way we like it)! After school on Monday we helped Sonja and Emma (from Jordan’s Principle) run a cooking class for the students. We had such a good turnout which was great because making two MASSIVE lasagna’s and LOTS of garlic bread was no easy feat. As we waited for our lasagna’s to cook we all made friendship bracelets trying out new designs with beads AND string. By the time the lasagna and garlic bread were ready we were all pretty hungry and it turned out delicious! On Tuesday evening the sun was shining bright so we took a walk towards the south side of the island! We were elated to gain the company of 5 beautiful and friendly four-legged friends. We weren’t familiar with the names dogs during our walk and so we decided to give them names based on personality. We were amazed by how they seemed to respond to us and stayed by us throughout our adventure – which we joke is because they’re scared we’ll get lost haha. We’ve since learned we guessed none of the names correctly and even got most of the sexes wrong (oops!) but we still love having the dogs around! We’re definitely going to miss these lovely evening walks with our doggy friends!
We are very proud to announce that on Wednesday at our weekly sewing night, we both completed our mittens! It was definitely a sprint to the finish as we knew we would need the wisdom, patience and support of our many sewing night teachers to help us finish the project. In the end though, we both couldn’t be prouder of our mittens. We want to send a special thank you to all the amazing women from sewing night who since our first week have been so patient, generous and good-humoured as we truly would never have achieved our mitten goal without you all! The rest of the week outside of the classroom was spent – of course!- meeting with all the kids for some outdoor games. We’ve continued having a blast playing all kinds of tag, hide and go seek, capture the flag and have since also added grounders and mingle-mingle to our repertoire. We always enjoy the opportunity to connect with our students outside of the classroom and we’re amazed how each evening our friend group continues to grow. The learning experience continues to be mutual, as this week the kids taught us the traditional games they learned during Culture Week! It was so incredible to hear the kids talk about their culture and traditions and how they have been passed on. They are so smart and passionate it makes us proud!
As we wrap up our final weekend here in Webequie we’re holding off on feeling sad as we’re eager to continue making the most of each moment! We already have plans to go on nature walks with dogs, make good food, play outdoor games, and just enjoy what’s left of this experience. If you’re reading this, we can only assume you’ve been with us since the beginning and we want to assure you this isn’t the last you’ve heard from us! We’re excited to really make the most of the next 48 hours! Stay tuned!