January was a very strenuous month. After returning from 2 weeks of vacation I had to readjust to the slower pace of reserve life, meanwhile my students have been extremely reluclent to do much work. February hasn't been much of a picnic, either. Students have been very untrusting of eachother and of me lately - quick on the defense, and a lot of attitudes forming. Staff attendance has also been down with alot of teachers on sick leave and my assistant has been pulled from my class most days for the past few weeks to supply in those teacher's classrooms. As a result, its been extremely difficult to address every student's needs, and they are a very needy bunch. I've changed desks around and our daily agenda, am using even more visuals than before, while attempting to incorporate more group work to encourage cooperation and independant work. I'm trying to be more consistant with consequences for inappropriate behaviour. This job is so exhausting. I've never been so tired, and I feel pretty unappreciated at the end of most days, just happy I made it through. I'm making mistakes, which is to be expected I think from most first year teachers, but I face-palm myself every so often, rethinking my actions or reactions to situations.
Harbour flew out today on ThunderAir. He's gone to stay with the people of Moosonee Puppy Rescue and might already have a place to call home. I gave him one Gravol before he was put on the plane, but I guess it didnt work and he was whining from Kash to Timmins (a half a Gravol usually is enough to put me under!) While he chewed a bit much for my liking, he's a really great dog, love to cuddle and play fetch. I miss him already. It was nice having a dog around again and am glad I got that little fix that I needed. I hope to recieve updates about him.
I've been undeniably homesick here, however I'm finding that I am appreciating winter like I never have before. Its so unbelievaly white here, and there is no need to worry about driving or shoveling. Olena and I tried our hand at snowshoeing last week and I really enjoyed it. We took off across the frozen river to set some rabbit snares (didnt catch anything). The snowmobiles make good hiking trails through the woods and I enjoyed finding new paths while walking Harbour. While it is super cold, its nothing another layer of clothing and some good long johns can't handle.
The entire teaching staff is headed to Cochrane on Wednesday for professional developemet workshops called the Great Moon Gathering. After a half day at school we are piling into a bus to Moosonee, a 3 hour drive via the winter road, and taking a chartered train for another 5 hours to Cochrane. Looking forward to getting out of town for a little while, getting some Tim Hortons and cheap food in restaurants, seeing a movie, and most excitingly seeing Scott who is traveling to Cochrane to meet me!