About Me

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Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada
Always up for a new adventure. I love Musicals, photography, my family, road trips, and beads. So far I have been fortunate enough to teach in Japan, South Korea, Kenya, and the Canadian Arctic. Currently in my 5th year in the frozen North and up for any new adventure.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In the stillness of the 'white'

Morning after an 'almost' blizzard. The weather report had told us that we were under blizzard alert, but as we could still see the majority of houses in town no one paid much notice. As the evening progressed the winds grew stronger, I felt my house shake a little and allowed myself the pleasant thought that I might get a 'blizzard day' at school the next morning. Alas, I woke to the silence that comes after the storm. However, walking to school I was struck by the silence of the town. Too early for the snow plows and sand truck to be at work. No school for students meant few snow machines were out in the early morning, no school busses either. Just silence and new white drifts. The wind had blown old and new snow around so much that all paths and roads were hidden. White on white plays tricks on you in the soft morning light as you navigate familiar routes. You do not even notice a snow drift until you walk into it and find the snow creeping toward the tops of your boots. The snow makes things warmer, if you call -15 warm, and if you live up here you do (past few weeks have been hovering around -30 plus wind). The higher the sun climbs, the more depth and definition you begin to see in the pure whiteness that surrounds you. It often gives me the desire to take a running leap into a snow bank, only the knowledge that under the snow is hard, wind driven ice stops me. As the town wakes, the stillness is broken by the normal sounds of winter, snow machines roaring, and chains clinking. But for that brief moment in the early morning, all is silent and white the day after a storm.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Exchange of Information (otherwise known as Report Card Night)

Waiting, listening, hoping; I sit at my desk. Waiting to for parents to come, listening for footsteps headed down to my end of the corridor, and hoping to get a chance to talk to the parents of the students who are struggling. It seems that sometimes during report card night, while you are glad to see all parents, the one you really need to see are the one you never do. It is always a pleasure to discuss a students progress with caring parents, even if there is nothing specific that you need to say about his or her work. But I can not help but wish that the parents of the students who skip class too often, or the ones never seem to find a way to not lose their work, or the ones who are perfecting their impression of a zombie while in class... I wish that they could find time to come in and discuss their child's progress. The phone calls later do help but they are not the same as sitting face to face and being able to show them exactly where their child is struggling. Maybe sometimes it is the 'face to face' that is the issue; sometimes until you actually have that piece of paper and a person physically explaining what is happening for it to become real. Reality is not always what we want to hear, preferring the possibility that there might have been a mistake. There is also that slight chance that a report card mailed home may never see the light of day again as it may be kidnapped by a fearful student. While I did have the chance to show my students their report card and discuss where they need the most work, there are a few whose parents I would dearly love to see. Tonight there is the added distraction of blizzard preventing some from coming in to the school, and I also know that a number of the parents are out of town at the moment, and sadly some parents are ill. I understand that is is difficult for some to have the energy after work to go out again, to fight the weather and wait, that many would rather just go home and relax. But there is always that hope that some might make the choice to come in and find out first hand what their children have been up to. For some there isn't that much time left. Tonight has not been one of my better report card nights, I have only seen one of the parents of my students, and sad to say she may be the only one I will see.