Monday, July 21, 2008

5 Years Later

Today marks a red letter day in my teaching career as I hit the 5 year anniversary of my arrival in Nunavut. Other than gaping at the ever-increasing amounts of snow as the jet passed over Nunavik (northern Quebec), the only eventful part of the trip was a missed approach as our plane descended into Iqaluit. At the time, I took this as some sort of bad omen. I had completed a job interview and packed house within a small window of time. After a shortened summer break at my parents' in Ontario, I was now once again heading very quickly into the unknown. In the end, despite some small bumps and bruises, it has worked out pretty well.

When I left the lakes and forests of northern Saskatchewan for the mountains, snow and isolation of Nunavut, I wasn't sure what I was getting in to, just that another very unique phase of my career was about to begin. I wasn't even sure how long I'd be here. I figured (and, I'm sure, most others who knew me) figured I'd be here a year or two before moving on. Most teachers eventually do. But here I am 5 years later, winding down another school year and returning in the fall.

It seems to me that in Nunavut's smaller communities, most teachers stay for 2 or 3 years before moving on so it looks like I've beaten the average now. What has given me my staying power? I have ideas. Perhaps I will be able to spell them out more clearly in a future post. Will I still be here 5 years from now? I can't honestly say. I do know that as time passes, I take the view that I am not just here for adventure, an experience or a temporary change of scenery. This place is slowly growing on me and changing me. When I get off the plane now, I am no longer back just for more adventure (although I still do have that from time to time). When I get off the plane now, I feel that I am home.


Kiggavik said...

Congratulations on 5 years in Nunavut Darcy. And thanks for keeping us posted on your European adventures. I've been enjoying following along.