I sometimes wonder if anyone out there actually reads this stuff? Perhaps I'm just talking to myself.
I've moved... again... why I keep doing this, I actually wonder about sometimes. In three years I've lived in three remote, fly in communities, teaching not-so-calm kids. Actually, perhaps I can answer that... The north is like a part of me now - I crave the isolation, the pace of life here. I love the barren landscapes and the QUIET - the absolute stillness. When all you can hear is the sound of snow beneath your feet. When you don't have to worry about what you're going to do on a Friday or Saturday night... it's okay to just stay in and curl up with a good guy and a fire because there is nothing else to do (and what better is there to do that than, anyhow?) Although, I do miss coffee shops and grabbing pints whenever I please. Anyway, here I am again - and this time I don't know if I could go much further north if I tried.
Last Tuesday (one week ago!) I drove on the Arctic Ocean (I even passed a sign! It said "Arctic Ocean"... craazy). I flew from Toronto on Monday, stayed overnight in Edmonton, and then jumping from Yellowknife, to Norman Wells (where I'd get off if I wanted to head to Fort Good Hope) then further north to Inuvik. A pretty uneventful sequence of flights, which I believe is always the best sort of flights. From there I got a ride on the very wide and beautiful ice road to Tuktoyaktuk, where I am now.
It happened all so quickly. I applied on a Tuesday, had an interview Wednesday, and on Friday I accepted the position. A week before I left I had no idea I would be so far away. Talk about a fast life change.
I'm teaching a grade 2 class with four months left on the school calendar. The previous teacher had to leave because his wife became ill. Scott is finishing teacher's college and will soon (as time flies) be joining me here - its hard to wait. I had to leave Gus behind with my parents who graciously offered to dog-sit. I had planned to take him a long, but a day before leaving I still couldn't find a house up here that would allow pets indoors (most people chain their dogs up outside). I miss my boys immensely. I'm currently staying with a very nice kindergarten teacher and looking for other accommodations come May when Scott is here.
Its been odd jumping into a class with just a quarter of the school year to complete. The kids have thus far responded very positively to the changes I've made, adding a lot of structure and routine to their day. Its a class of mostly boys, so I've had to change some of my teaching strategies.... we do a lot more moving around! But they are still in grade 2 and they like to sing and dance, they are really good kids.
I've been keeping myself busy with school work and planning, but have also been out a bit. A teacher I know from my previous job in Kash works here as well, and we've been hanging out which has been great. Its good to have a friend here. I;m also going to "fitness" classes 3 times a week, which is some circuit training set up in the gym. Other then that, I've been working on my additional qualification course, Reading Part II. I'm hoping to get my Reading Specialist eventually - perhaps it will make me a more desired commodity in the south someday.
That's all for now, Ill post some pictures soon. To my family and friends, I miss you and love you all. My phone number remains the same as it was in Peterborough, don't be afraid to call.
Northern Teacher Extraordinaire