Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thoughts on a New School Year and the Future

Tomorrow is the big day - the start of another school year. (For high school, anyhow. K to grade 9 classes began this past Friday.) Its a time that I always look forward to even though I know it will get very busy for me very soon. Tommorrow I will be back up in front of students and I will continue with my coaching as soon as I know the new gym schedule from the rec. department.

This year it looks like we will have 7 graduates at Inuujaq School, perhaps a tiny number by southern standards, but I think it may be close to a record for our school. The number of grads fluctuates every year. Last year, we had 3. In proportion to other communities, 7 is pretty good. For example, this year in Coral Harbour, a community of about 1000, they have 3 graduates. (Arctic Bay's population runs about 700). This year we have a student who was accepted into the psychology program at Brandon University. So our school has now produced 2 students who have gone off to university. Arctic Bay's first university-bound student is currently enrolled in a general science program in Peterborough's Trent University, close to my old stomping grounds. So every success is celebrated and we hope to build on it. As a teacher, it reminds you of the positive impact you can have.

The first day back to school is always interesting as I never quite know what to expect. In many ways, it will be easier since a) this will be my second year at Inuujaq School; b) a majority of the students know me now either through soccer or cadets and therefore know what my expectations are; c) I'm quite comfortable with the courses I teach since I've taught them for 3 years now.

Granted, there is always the X-factor, but for now I will continue to take each day as it comes. Inevitably, I always get asked how long I will stay in Nunavut. The honest answer is simply that I don't know. It's not something that I spend a lot of time pondering but I think that with each year that passes it will get harder for me to leave. In the meantime, I re-freshen my Sunday morning coffee, take a deep breath and focus on the up-coming week.


VeSantos said...

Good luck teacher!
Every start it's a new beginning with it's cold sweat... Nothing is very important to know e feel what it's start. Go and will ear "oh captain, my captain"!

Good luck.

J Consortium said...

Seven grads, wow! This week's big story in Kivalliq News is the 2 grads from Repulse Bay.

Did you/are you teaching any of the grads?

Also, you mentioned not knowing when/if you leave. Before you moved up here did you have a general idea of how long you were going to stay?

Way Way Up said...

J Consortium.....initially I had in mind to stay a year or two but it looks like its morphing into a career for me up here. I really had no idea what I was getting into at first. I would have loved to have read a blog like yours 5 years ago.