Sunday, April 22, 2007

School Happenings

I was into the school this afternoon for soccer practice and had the opportunity to meet our newest staff member. He will be taking over the vacant grade 8 position for the remainder of the school year. My conversation with him reminded me what a small world we live in. The man is originally from Kingston, Ontario, a couple hours away from where I grew up. He also spent 6 years teaching in Tulita, in the Sahtu region of the NWT. I began my career in the Northwest Territories and haven't bumped into anyone from there during my travels in the last little while. I always find it interesting that I tend to bump into people from past places I've been to. I mentioned to him that most of his students are involved with soccer here so he came down to the gym for awhile to watch and meet the kids, which I thought was a very smart move. I don't run across too many seasoned northern teachers unfortunately so it is always good to have colleagues like this to learn from.

The next couple of days are staff days so it should be an interesting time. We have an individual coming up and we will be discussing "language of instruction" models. What this means is that the GN is looking into ways of implementing educational programming in both Inuktitut and English and from what I understand, the community will get to decide which model it feels is best to be put in place for students here. Language of instruction is a big mine field education-wise here, or maybe not. Its too early to tell, but I will be able to comment more intelligently on this after the next days hopefully so I will leave it at that.

In the meantime, just a quick picture of the sea ice jammed up along the breakwater here.


c'est moi said...

I am wondering how many P.D. and instructional days the G.N. has for you? How long until you go off for summer break too?

Way Way Up said...

Up here we get 184 student days and 195 staff days. Typically, we will have 2-3 staff days at the start of the school year to to get ready for the new year. It can be a real challenge in smaller communities, as I'm sure you know, to bring in people for professional improvement throughout the year, so at both Nunavut schools I've taught in, the tendency is to just lump all the PI days together and decide later how to spread them around the calendar. This provides a bit more flexibility in planning for bringing up any specialists. The big PI session we have is our Nunavut-wide PI week which occurs either the last week of February or the first week of March depending on the community. This is pretty much the same for all schools in Qikiqtani. I'm not sure about the 2 other Nunavut regions but I imagine it would be quite similar. The first and last school day depends on the community. Over the past 4 years, in the communities I've taught, the kids start around Aug. 20-25. I don't recall when our first day back was this school year but I do know that the student's finish here in Arctic Bay on June 8, and staff on June 12.