Wednesday, March 28, 2007


We had higher than normal winds here today, giving us quasi-blizzard moments this afternoon. It all seemed metaphoric......for something.

Ah yes!

It looks like big changes are in store for our school in the next school year. We will have the biggest turnover in 4-5 years. Large turnovers tend to be the norm for northern schools and we've been pretty stable for awhile so I guess we were due. I've seen this issue from both sides, having left schools as part of a big turnover and having joined school staffs as part of an influx of newbies.

At any rate, I look forward to the new challenges. At this point, it appears I will be the only returning high school teacher so I am quite happy I have a firm grasp of how the high school system functions up here as we will also have at least one new administrator, and possibly two.

We had a productive staff meeting this afternoon along with our community's mental health worker who is interested in setting up some programs/structures to assist new hires in adapting living and teaching here. In the Baffin region, most new hires tend to be young teachers from the east coast with the odd hire (like myself) from Ontario. I've offered to help out with some of the new initiatives and even offered up my blog site as a source of (hopefully helpful) information for new hires. So a heads up to other Nunavut bloggers that you may get some extra traffic starting in April when hiring starts in earnest.

I found I've been getting a lot of questions lately from students as to whether or not I would be here in the fall. Usually I tend not to give much thought to this issue until later in the school year. I'm wary of telling students my intentions in case they change. However, since most of the students seemed to suspect a high turnover, I found them asking me about my intentions more so than last year. I can't really blame them of course. They are just as antsy, or even more so, than teachers about high turnover. I decided to let the cat out of the bag and be honest with them since they need reassurance of stability and familiar faces.

I plan to return in the fall. I've considered a few other positions that will be opening up in the school here for the fall but I will be teaching here in some capacity come August. The reality is that I've found a place I feel comfortable living and working in. Of course, not every day goes as planned and there are days I gnash my teeth but they are few and far between. I'm sure I could be teaching in Toronto, Tofino or Trenton and face the same challenges there as well.

I'm giving some thought to applying for an administrative position. I would love the new opportunity and challenge. I like to think I have some good ideas and can effect change. At this point though I'm still considering it. I'd rather not have to sacrifice my soccer coaching in order to fill this new role as I really do enjoy working with the kids outside of school hours. I find this really adds a whole new dimension to my job and to living here in the community. I will be quite happy teaching here for the time to come regardless of the shape and size of the hat I may be wearing.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you'll be staying in Arctic Bay for anotehr year :)