Saturday, September 29, 2007

Notes from the Week

We now have enough snow cover that you know will now be sticking around until June. Slowly, but surely skidoos are appearing on the roads. My housemate Monty got his skidoo started yesterday after work plans to head off shortly with his 30.06 to find some targets to shoot at.

As for myself, I've been busy in the class with some testing this week. Our high school graduation ceremonies are set for next Friday so I've been lending a hand with planning for the big event. I've taken on the tasks of organizing the banquet and helping with decorations. Cooking and decorating......two areas I am quite clueless in. Fortunately, I am only organizing it and we have lots of help so I know things will go off without a hitch. We have 4 grads and we are all looking forward to the big day.

Earlier this week I had an opportunity to participate in a conference call from the University of Windsor. Windsor's Fac. Ed. magazine was working on an article on northern educators so I was contacted along with a principal from Yukon and another from the NWT. Unfortunately, the NWT principal was unable to take part in the conference call Wednesday night but it was very interesting to hear about the state of education from another experienced educator. (Incidentally, both the Yukon administrator and my own principal haved asked me this week whether a principalship was in my future plans. I definitely am, though for the moment I am quite happy to contribute as a classroom teacher.) At any rate, it was interesting to get a snapshot of education across the north. Having spent a bit of time in the NWT, I could see many similarities but also many differences. Nunavut still lags behind the other two territories in many ways. I've talked about many of these issues in the past so I won't rehash them here. The Government of Nunavut has big ears and big teeth.

Happy belated birthday to Amber (ha ha......29!) and Grampa Cliff.........sorry I missed your special day.....I've been a bad blogger this week.


Kennie said...

Darcy .. have you ever thought of going through the Education Leadership Program? Might be good for you if you are considering ever doing principalship type stuff ...

Way Way Up said...

Yup, yup....applied for it a couple times but transfers and Europe got in the way. One of these days though I'll get down to doing it.

c'est moi said...

Beware when people nose around at this time of the year about intensions. It could mean that in the greater scheme of things someone, usually a green southerner, isn't making the grade and they are assessing a pool of replacements. All I am saying is be careful. It sounds like you've got a pretty good deal where you are now.

Juanasi Akumalik said...

When you say; "Nunavut still lags behind the other two territories in many way". Could you tell me oe explain to me what the "lags" are. I am interested in hearing ideas and opinions as I am a parent. My child (who is now 12) did went to a southern elementry school for 3 years and had excelled a bit, hearing from you what the "lags" interests me. I think for one "homework" is non-existent up here. Even then, if there is homework, children who have unilingual parents would not able to get help from parents but is there a after school program?

jennifer said...

Off topic...Have you written anything lately on the situation with gov. housing in your neck of the woods? I'd rather take your word on it than what I read in the paper.

Care to share what's really going on?

Way Way Up said...

Hi Joanasie, thank you for your comment. I did not have your e-mail so I hope this comment finds you.

Much of what I take issue with is are the broader systemic problems of the education system here.
When I made the statement about Nunavut's education system lagging behind, I failed to clarify that during the conference call one of the issues that was brought up was the fact that education in many if not most other aboriginal communities is under local control. As I'm sure you are aware, local control of education in Nunavut was taken away when the territorial boards of education were abolished in 2000. I was recently reminded of this fact while reading NTI's "Naniiliqpita" publication. Local control of education, I feel, is vital to growing strong communities and it is beyond me why the GN is unwilling or unable to move forward on this issue.

I would also like to point out the fact for other readers that Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada where a 15% minority (southerners) holds a great deal of control over educational policy to the detriment of the majority (Inuit).

Also, having everything so decentralized creates a communications nightmare. As I teacher, it would be much much easier to do my job if I didn't have to waste time getting hold of individuals scattered all over the place. For example, Qikiqtani School Operations is in Pond Inlet, the union and education minister are in Iqaluit, Student Records is in Pang, Housing (which is also a thorn for teachers in Arctic Bay this year) is in Cape Dorset, Curriculum Services is located in Arviat. Coordination between all these places is a total nightmare as times. I am sure this problem does not just apply to the Deparrtment of Education however.

Regarding homework, what I have tended to do in the past, and continue to do, is to provide as much class time as I can for students to work. This is what I and my fellow high school colleagues have done in the past, appreciating that for many of our students, having a quiet place to work at home may not be possible.

Thank you for your input on this topic. I hope this is helpful.

Way Way Up said...

Hi Jen, yeah the housing issue here in Arctic Bay......I'm really chomping at the bit to let loose on the issue on my blog. I'm just wary of my blog being invaded by hordes of government mandarins who have nothing better to do with their time than websurf at the office desks. At any rate, I'm sure my e-mail to ya helped shed a little light on this GN debacle.