She’s Back!

Well, hello readers!

It’s been a while since I last wrote. Actually, looking back on my posts, it’s been just over a year since I last posted my thoughts on teaching. This past year has been a blur. Teaching kindergarten in my little Northern community proved to be one of the most challenging years yet. With only 23 little ones in the classroom, I thought “Well, this won’t be too bad! I know many classes in Ontario have over 30 children in one room.” Well, with a few non-verbal students, cases of autism (both confirmed and suspected), and many of the students coming from turbulent homes, these poor little ones only knew how to deal with problems in a violent way. Little Johnny was playing with a toy that little Tommy had been playing with an hour ago? Tommy did not want to let that go. So what does he do? He decides to punch, scratch, bite or push little Johnny until he gets that toy.

The beginning of the year was very rough. I could not have done it without my fabulous teaching partner. She was always there for me to bounce ideas or to cry on her shoulder. By the winter, I thought that nothing was changing. I started viewing my teaching in a negative way, to the point where I dreaded walking through the school doors every morning. Although I received loads of encouragement from my teacher friends, I felt hopeless. No matter what I tried in the classroom, the students did not have the support needed at home to continue building on what they were learning at school.

On top of school stress, the community of 1200 people has had multiple suicides this year. The mentality was beginning to be toxic, even to someone who doesn’t suffer from mental illness. That is when I decided that I needed to go back home, to Ontario. Being far away from family and friends in my home province was beginning to be too much. In May, I said my goodbyes to a community that had been home for the past 3 years. I left some amazing friends. As I write this, I can’t help tears from falling. Goodbyes are hard. I sometimes feel like I let my students down because I feel like I have given up on them. When I get into that mindset, I remind myself that I am not a miracle worker. There is only one miracle worker: Jesus Christ. All I can do, whether or not I am living in the community, is to keep praying for them.

 

The day that I arrived in Ontario is the day that I left for a trip to Ireland with some friends. It was a great way to get my mind off of goodbyes, and a great way to begin a new chapter. We drove around the whole island in 12 days. Here are some of the highlights from the trip:

Literally two days after arriving back in Canada, while unpacking all of my boxes in my new apartment, I had a job interview for a French teaching position at a local Christian school. So, long story short, I was offered a one-year contract at the school, which is where I have been working since August.

In August, I went on another trip. This time, I visited Greece and some of the Grecian islands with my housemate and coworker from the Northwest Territories. I did all of the traveling I could do this summer! This trip was also amazing. Hot, but beautiful.

It has been quite the change. I really enjoy having the opportunity to share my faith with the students. We can openly talk about Jesus. Our staff also has daily morning devotions together. I like to begin the day with prayer and a thought or passage to focus on throughout the day. Although teaching at any school is not without its problems, I am blessed to be at such a great school this year! I promise to keep you posted this year about my teaching adventures.

Warmly,

Mademoiselle Hébert

The big reveal!

Phew! I am tired. And school hasn’t even started yet! Haha. I guess I should clarify: I am tired from all of the arranging and rearranging of the classroom this week, but I feel very energized about this coming week, when I will get the chance to meet new munchkins and welcome back the older ones. There is still so much to do, but who am I kidding? There will always be something left to do. The classroom and the students will always be changing. For now, here is what my new and improved classroom looks like. I am so excited about all of the space!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After posting these pictures on an Ontario kindergarten teachers’ Facebook group, I realized that most schools in Ontario do not have programs that remotely resemble what we have here in Fort Simpson. It’s amazing to think that the Junior Kindergarten program just started 2 years ago here and that the play-based curriculum has only been around for a bit longer. Most of our programming here was modelled after Ontario’s curriculum. Even with this program being so young, we have access to so many resources! I was saddened to hear from other teachers commenting on the pictures that they have less than half of the space I have… and that they have at least 10 more children to care for. To me, that’s crazy! I strongly believe that a great education starts with a stellar early childhood program. It’s the base, the foundation, of these kids’ school careers. Many schools and boards do not put in enough money and staff support to make them what they could be. Instead, kindergarten teachers are unsupported and left to deal with over 30 children, with maybe one educational assistant, and a small room. The comments from these Ontario teachers made me sad, but also made me feel very blessed to be here, in an amazing space. I know that northern communities are not perfect. They have their problems. However, these teachers have made me realize that Ontario still has lots to work on in their education system.

Well, apparently I needed to rant. Thanks for being a listening ear (or reading eye?…). Well, right now, I need to get to relaxing before this week hits me like a ton of bricks. I think that I have forgotten what it’s truly like having little ones tugging for my attention every second of the day. I’m pretty sure I will need to move my bedtime to 7:30 this week! 😜

Oh, and guess who will make an appearance at circle time tomorrow! Effie, my ukulele! She is super excited to meet these little ones and to sing with them this year. Until next time. Thanks for dropping by!

Classroom under construction

Well, it’s that time of year again: the beginning of the school year! This year, it’s off to a, shall we say “different” kind of start. Before leaving for the summer, I was told that the wall dividing the kindergarten and junior kindergarten classrooms would be taken down. I was obviously very excited about this since last year, the kindergarten teacher had to constantly go between the two rooms to monitor children. This open space would make it so much easier to teach 22 children! I left town, and didn’t think much about it until I came back to town. Many renovations took place in town while I was gone – the village looks fresh and spruced up. That being said, some other projects were not yet done… my classroom was one of those projects.

Now, for those who know me, I can easily get anxious about things. A construction zone as a classroom would be one of those things that would make me sick to my stomach, especially so close to the start of the year. There is exactly one week until the first day of school. After having a little panic attack, I called my family, as well as my good friend from back home, and then did some deep breathing. It’s all gonna be ok, right? Once I started not focusing on how much work needs to get done, I realized how much of a blessing this big classroom will be once it is done! I can’t believe I get to organize and set up a dream classroom! Once I forgot all of my worries, I could focus on this amazing opportunity that  was given to me. It’s funny how God can test us sometimes. This sounds a little silly, but I had vowed that I wouldn’t get worked up or anxious about so many things anymore. It was easy to relax over the summer and to roll with the punches. But, God really works on us when we are faced with trials. In Romans 5:3-4, it says: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” I will sure have a lot of hope by the end of the year! 😜 Out of all seriousness though, after going through this tough week, I will have an amazing classroom, ready for a fresh school year. 

So, in the meantime, here is a picture of my current classroom. Stay tuned, because it will get transformed over the next week! There is so much potential in this space. 😊

Thanks for dropping by!

classroom renos.JPG

Spring Has Sprung

Dear readers,

It’s been far too long since my last post. As the Biebs puts it, is it too late now to say sorry? (Cue in music.) But seriously. I’m sorry for not posting sooner. I think I was in some sort of a funk for the winter. It was abnormally cloudy this winter, and so the son hardly made an appearance in the past 5 months. That makes for a difficult time of year, when already, sunlight is down to maybe 5 hours every day. Waking up with passion and alertness was almost impossible. It made me feel bad about my lack of passion for teaching and for even enjoyable things at home like sewing and making cards.

Thankfully, I had two fantastic professional development opportunities in February, which broke up the long winter quite nicely, along with the Christmas break in December. Maybe I should back up and start in January. My parents came to visit me. We had a great time touring Simpson and spending some time together! It was a short visit, but then 3 weeks later, I was going back to Ontario for PD. In the span of one month, I had the chance to spend time in 4 Canadian capitals: Yellowknife, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. Toronto was the first conference. I attended Reading for the Love of It with my wonderful coworker (who happens to be my housemate too!). That was a great conference where I heard Miriam Trehearne and Kristi Mraz speak. They are two very inspirational speakers who gave us lots of tips and things to think about in terms of literacy and self-regulation. I bought some of their books to read here in my hypothetical free time. Hypothetical, being the key word here (I honestly don’t know where time goes sometimes). This conference was paid for by the literacy committee at our board. I am part of the committee this year, and went to the conference to help with an action research plan that my coworker and I put together. We were going to start a project at school about using iPads for literacy. Unfortunately, the materials needed were not yet ready this term for us to start the project. That didn’t stop us from enjoying the conference though! It’s always great to get away from work and do some thinking about how our craft as teachers can be improved. Another great thing about going to your home province for PD is that you get to see family and friends! I was so blessed to see my sister and a good friend during my time there. Oh, the laughs we had! The location of the conference was perfect. It was in downtown Toronto, central to anything you could every want or need. Let’s just say that my suitcase was fuller leaving Toronto than when I arrived… The Eaton centre had too many nice things to resist!

Well, we returned to Simpson on the Sunday, and then were off to Vancouver again on the Wednesday. It was a crazy few days, doing laundry and repacking, as well as teaching and planning for our classes that we hadn’t seen in a week. In Vancouver, most of the teachers from the school also came. We attended the SEA (Special Education Association) of BC’s yearly conference. That one was also a great conference, although a much shorter time (less than 2 full days). The most helpful workshop for me was one on differentiated instruction. It’s something that I do on a daily basis in my class because of the wide spectrum of abilities. It was good to see some other ways in which I could differentiate for my students.

So, February was definitely a PD month! In March, I drove my new little used car (her name is Isla) to Yellowknife. I flew from there. It was so amazing to relax and rest at home with family and friends. It was two weeks ago, but already feels like an eternity since I was there. I know that the next two months will fly by, although it doesn’t feel like it right now. Oh, I mentioned Isla! I haven’t introduced you to her yet. It’s my little fix up car. It’s got a roof rack, leather seats, and even a sun roof! I bought if from someone in town for very cheap. I probably got it for cheap because he knew that there were lots of things wrong with it… But, I have a car! It still needs a few more repairs, but I keep telling myself that I will be spending less on this car than I would on a brand new car. It’s made me realize that I don’t want to own another car until I have kids! Lol. Biking and public transportation are the way to go for me. Anyway, here is a picture of her (yes, I still name inanimate objects):

IMG_1095

There you have it: a very very brief overview of the winter. My post wouldn’t be complete without pictures of this winter wonderland that I have called my temporary home for 2 years now. I’ve included pictures from November 2015 to April 2016. Now, I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep… so, I’m going to commit to only one more blog post before the end of the school year. Is that fair? Well, even if you don’t think it is, that’s what I’m going to do, OK? Because I can’t hear you *plugs her ears with her fingers*. Maybe my students are rubbing off on me a little too much…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment below if you have questions about my community.

Yogurt Making 101

It’s the weekend. And the weekend usually means time to clean, cook, and relax. It occurred to me today, as I was in the kitchen, that many of my friends and blog readers may not know that I have a big addiction… to yogurt! I eat yogurt every day, and can’t live without it. Up North, you almost have to have a separate budget for dairy products though, since they are so expensive. So, how am I still consuming lots of yogurt up North? I’m going to let you in on a little secret today: you can actually make your own yogurt for a fraction of the cost of store-bought yogurt! What do you need? Only 2 simple ingredients: a bit of plain yogurt, and a carton of milk. I know. It sounds silly to have to buy yogurt to make some. However, you need some bacterial culture to turn your milk into yogurt. I only need to buy a tub of yogurt every month and use 1/3 of a cup for each batch.

I used to make yogurt in University because a friend showed me how to make some. I love the satisfaction of being able to say that I make everything that I eat, except anything that grows on trees or from the ground. Oh, and I guess that I don’t raise my own meat. One day. One day.

Ready to make some yogurt? You will need:

  • 1L carton of milk (preferably 3.25% because it makes for a better consistency)
  • 1/3 cup of plain yogurt (any percentage of fat)
  • Food thermometer

Directions

  1. Place milk in a medium saucepan. Put on medium heat and stir often. Heat until the milk reaches 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want your milk to boil. It will be frothy.
  2. Remove milk from heat and pour it into a crockpot. I use a small crockpot, and it fits perfectly.
  3. Let the milk cool in the crockpot until it reaches 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the milk occasionally, so that no film forms on the top. Even though your thermometer might indicate that the milk has cooled, just double check by placing a finger in the milk. If it is warm, this is perfect. If it is still too hot to touch, your thermometer might be off.
  4. Once the milk has cooled enough, mix in 1/3 cup of room temperature plain yogurt. Mix it so that it is completely homogenous.
  5. Place the cover on top, and bundle up your crockpot with a blanket or two to keep the warmth inside. This will be the perfect temperature for your culture to grow! I actually like to use a magic bag on the cover of the crockpot to keep the warmth longer.
  6. Let the culture grow for 8 to 12 hours. I usually do this at night.
  7. Once it is ready, uncover the crockpot. You should see yogurt that is jiggly like Jello. It may have a bit of whey on the top (clear liquid). That’s ok! What I have been doing lately is mixing in right away some vanilla and a few Tablespoons of maple syrup. I then let the yogurt firm up a bit in the fridge. If I use 3.25% milk, I can usually get away with this.
  8. If you are using skimmer milk, you might want to strain your yogurt before putting it in the fridge. Do this by placing a cheesecloth over a colander, inside a big bowl. Pour the liquidy yogurt on the cheesecloth. The cloth will separate the whey from the yogurt, making it thicker. If you like Greek style yogurt, you’ll want to strain your yogurt. Some people strain it for 20 minutes, others for an hour. It depends on the consistency you want. I used to strain my yogurt all the time, but I don’t anymore because I use better milk. It’s nice and creamy!

So, is there really a point to making your own yogurt? Milk here is $2.80 per litre, but a tub of plain yogurt costs about $4.60. Each litre of milk actually makes about 1.25 tubs of yogurt. So, yes, it’s totally worth it here! Depending on where you live, it may not be a huge difference in price. But, it’s not a very difficult recipe to follow, allows you to have a hand in making your food instead of relying on factories, and lets you control the sugar added. You don’t even need to flavour your yogurt! I do it because it cuts out the acidity of the plain yogurt.

There you have it. There are no pictures, because I finished making the yogurt when I decided to post this. Let me know if you have ever made your own yogurt!

A Spooktastic Week

What do you call a fat pumpkin?

A plumpkin.

It’s that time of year again: Halloween! Do you know what I love best about Halloween? You’ve guessed it. The cheesy Halloween jokes and puns! They’re not as cheesy as my paranormal snacktivity tonight though 🙂 Ok, ok. I’ll stop.

I guess it’s been a few weeks since I have written. Things have been very busy, as usual. This past week though has been the busiest because of the lead up to Halloween. I asked my students last week how they wanted to decorate our classroom door. They proceeded to tell me that they wanted to make a haunted house. The first thought that popped into my head was, “Absolutely not! Do you know how much work that’s going to be??” But, I kept calm and told them I would think about it. Over the weekend, I thought long and hard about it and figured out how to tie in the activity to the curriculum. I found some writing organizers and had the students make scenes with a partner or two. They then made a comic strip of what would happen at their scene, and wrote down a list of things they needed to have a successful scene. So, basically we explored two different writing forms in a week! Every day, I left the students enough time to get some of their scene done. By the end of the week, we had put up posters around the school, transformed our class into a spooky haunted house, and rehearsed many times to make sure everything was just right. We had spiders with pulleys to drop on passers-by, hidden students grabbing legs, students popping out of cupboards and coffins, and even a dancing skeleton hanging from the ceiling. They were so creative with their scenes!

Friday was the scheduled day for the haunted house. In the afternoon, our school celebrated Halloween and many parents brought snacks for the kids and hung out with their child’s class. All of the classes in the school had signed up to walk through our haunted house. All in all, I think it was pretty successful! We even had students from older classes wanting to come back for another walk-through. By the end though, my students were tired of doing their haunted house. It was about an hour of work for them yesterday. Now, you’re probably thinking: “Sounds great! Where are the pictures?” This is the sad part… it was so busy yesterday that I completely forgot to take pictures! I don’t even have a video. Oh well… You’ll just have to imagine it.

In terms of weather, only a few days after my last post, we got snow.

IMG_5871 IMG_5872

I don’t think it’s going anywhere now until April. It’s taken all of my self-control to abstain from playing Christmas music in the month of October. But… tomorrow is November 1st!! Do you know what that means? We can start playing Christmas music! Yessss! Judge me all you want. I’ll just start experiencing the most wonderful time of the year sooner than you grinches 😉

It’s not yet Christmas though, so I’m going to end this post with a Halloween-related note. Last night, I celebrated two of my friends’ birthdays, as well as Halloween. I’m just buzzing with excitement! Can you guess what I am? I just love this skirt that I got on Modcloth! Unfortunately, the zipper was pretty cheaply made, but I made do with a belt to hold it in place. This was probably the best Halloween I’ve had in a while! Spending time with friends = happiness. 🙂

IMG_5876

Cli Lake

Dear blog readers,

I thought that my blog this week would be full of excitement with news of my PD in Cli Lake. I had been looking forward to relaxing with my fellow coworkers, getting to know them better, and getting to read and learn all about the brain. My heart is heavy though with some news that we received during our second day out in the bush. One of our students, who had just graduated from grade 6 last year, passed away. She was found on the beach in a new community that she and her family had moved to over the summer. There is an investigation right now to figure out how this happened. My thoughts and prayers are with her mother, father, and younger sister, as well as the numerous friends and family she left behind. I needed to preface the weekend with this very sad news. The whole community is in mourning, and will be like this for a while. The student was only 12 years old; the community has not seen the death of a young person in a very long time.

As I write the rest of this blog, I will try to remember the great times that I had this weekend. Let’s start at the beginning: on Friday morning, we flew out of Fort Simpson on a 6-seater float plane. The scenery was amazing! Unfortunately, I am still trying to get used to my dad’s camera and had a difficult time adjusting the settings until we got to Cli Lake. You’ll have to bear with my pictures. What I didn’t realize is that Cli Lake is actually very close to Little Doctor Lake, this amazing place that I have been wanting to visit while I am here in the NWT. Here is a picture of this magical place, taken by a local photography enthusiast:

little doctor

Needless to say, Cli Lake was stunning. The lodge was built by the parents of a student in my class. They did an amazing job! I can’t even begin to imagine the hours of work put into this place. Just think about the numerous trips they would have had to make to haul all the materials they needed. You can’t access this place by road. Only by plane and part of the way by boat. They took very good care of us, feeding us enough to stay hungry for the upcoming week 🙂

We did some great learning! The book that we chose to study was The Whole-Brain Child by Siegel and Bryson. It is a parenting book, but everything applies to teachers. After all, teachers act loco parentis in the classroom (in the place of parents). I would highly recommend this read for all parents and teachers (anyone in education with children for that matter!). It really helps put things into perspective. When children are giving us a hard time, most of the time it is because they are having a hard time. This book really explains everything in terms of the brain and how a situation might bring out the emotional part of the brain over the logical one, or vice versa. It is slowly changing how I see things in terms of tantrums and other reactions children may have in the classroom. Here is a link to this book. Seriously. Read it. Just do it. The Whole-Brain Child

So, there was lots of learning, but also lots of time to get to know the other teachers. I have worked with most of them before, but got to know one of the new teachers better. There were lots of laughs, and many hours were spent in the amazing hot tub and wood stove sauna. I wish I could be back there again! It was so great to rejuvenate and focus on teacher wellness while learning about the brain. That’s my kind of weekend!

We were completely away from civilization: no internet, cell reception, power was by generator, and there was no TV. You should try it sometime. It brought me so much peace and I was able to connect much more meaningfully with my coworkers than if there had been cell and internet service.

The only part that was not so peaceful was the ride back. The 6-seater was not working when we were supposed to be picked up. So, we were brought back on an even small plane: a 3-seater! I was super excited…. until the wind picked up 5 minutes into the ride, and it was so turbulent that I thought I was not going to make it to town. The pilot passed me the dreaded bag and I was definitely ready to hurl. Thankfully, we landed before I could, and I just rested once I got home. Worst. Plane. Ride. Ever. Only those who have stomachs of steal should ride in these small planes on a windy day. Anyways, before I start reliving the ride back, here are the pictures I took. I hope you appreciate the beauty in the wilderness like I did!

Well, that’s it for now. Even though our hearts are heavy here in Fort Simpson, I know that this young girl is now in a better place and I hope that this will be a comfort to her family and friends.

tout vient a point qui sait attendre

Bonjour, mes chers lecteurs de blogue. Nous voici au début du mois d’octobre, et je n’ai toujours pas fais de blogue pour le mois de septembre. Mais, ne faites vous en pas! Je promets de vous écrire la fin de semaine prochaine, quand je serai de retour de développement professionnel. Demain, je pars pour la fin de semaine pour faire du développement professionnel au lac Cli, un endroit dans le milieu de nul part! J’ai super hâte de faire de l’apprentissage au sujet de notre cerveau et comment il influence nos actions.

En attendant, je vous laisse avec des photos d’automne, ici à Fort Simpson. La semaine prochaine, j’espère d’avoir encore plus de photos à vous montrer!

À plus tard!

Blog Post: Soon to Come!

Good morning, my blog readers! I just wanted to post a quick message to let you know that I have not forgotten about you. This weekend, I will be spending some time with my coworkers at a PD session in Cli Lake. I am very excited, but this also means that I will not have time (or internet access) to write about the month of September. So, I will update you on my crazy life here next weekend. Stay tuned for some (hopefully) great pictures of the lodge where we will be staying, as well as some pictures of the beautiful nature around us! We’ll see if I actually venture outside when I am there… apparently, there are some grizzlies heading up towards Cli Lake right now. Hopefully the bear and I won’t be picking in the same berry patch! Lol.

Until then, here are some pictures of Fall, here in Fort Simpson. Unfortunately, there are almost no more leaves in the trees now, and snow is soon to come.

Better Together

What a whirlwind these two weeks have been! I’m sitting in my new apartment as I write to you, not feeling 100%. I woke up in the middle of the night with flu-like symptoms. After sleeping most of the day, I think I’m now ready to update you all on the craziness that has been my life since moving back to Fort Simpson. I guess after everything that happened, my body was finally affected by the stress of it all!

Where do I begin? Well, let’s start at the apartment. My housemate and I moved into our new apartment at the Fort Simpson Manor – don’t let the name fool you! We both arrived in town on Saturday evening, so we were able to move in on the Sunday, the day before we needed to be at school for staff and cultural orientations. Our move went super smoothly. We were able to bring in all of our boxes, minus a couch and a desk – all by noon! Since our power was still not hooked up, and I was waiting for my mattress from Sears, we decided to sleep over at a friend’s place. For some reason, we both forgot things at the apartment though and needed to come back to pick them up in the morning, before popping by the school. We are both so thankful that we forgot things, because we never expected to see what we did when we walked into our bedrooms. A brown fluid from the radiator in the room above my housemate’s room leaked overnight and made a huge mess: it soaked right through her mattress and ruined some of the clothes that were on her bed. The bedroom could have been even more filled with glycol if we hadn’t returned that morning. I am so thankful that there was not more damage!

The stench of the oil made the bedroom unliveable, so we had to make a temporary bedroom out of the living room. And here we thought that we would be completely moved in by mid-week. Even after a week, the smell did not leave the room. Some of you may know that decent housing in Fort Simpson is hard to come by. Since we thought we would most likely have to move, we started looking around for alternate housing. My heart sank even just thinking about moving everything again – that is, if we could even find a decent place to live in.

Now, this story could have ended pretty badly. However, Friday night, things finally turned out in our favour. Our landlord, who worked tirelessly for us to fix the problem, cleaned up the stain in the ceiling, and sealed in the glycol with some sealing paint. Friday night, we walked into the room and could only smell a faint smell of paint! We are staying at the Manor! Once this sickness has passed, I can finally settle into the apartment, instead of living out of boxes and suitcases. I can’t wait! Needless to say, I don’t want to post pictures just yet. I will make sure to post some in the next post.

So, that was the craziness of my living situation for the past 2 weeks. We honestly didn’t know where we would be living for the rest of the year. I am very thankful for a roof over our heads and this place we can call home for the next 10 months!

At school, things were just as crazy. Since I changed grades this year, I needed to switch classrooms. Setting up a new classroom is a lot of work! I couldn’t really use the same class systems and setup in grade 3 as I did in JK. I needed to put lots of thought into how best to make the classroom a comfortable a safe place for learning. We were given a day to set up our classrooms, and then had four conference and orientation days after. I still don’t even know how I survived that first week without the kids, but God gave me strength to get through it.

You’re probably wanting to see pictures of my classroom. Well, here they are! In my last blog post, I promised a surprise in the classroom. Well, the surprise finally arrived! I had been doing research all summer about pets in the classroom and thought that this might be something that I could start this year. I know that it sounds like tons of work, and it probably will be. I had the intention of getting a guinea pig through a grant for getting a pet in the classroom. Then, last week, someone in town was giving away an angora rabbit. Yes, an angora rabbit! My knitting friends are all probably drooling right now. Well, this pet was either going to the classroom or was going to be someone’s supper next week. I decided to rescue the rabbit (I mean, who could really let a beautiful rabbit like this one get butchered for stew??). After having many chats with my students about the appropriate behaviour around a rabbit, I decided that they were ready for the bunny. After getting suggestions from my students of super generic names for the bunny (fluffy and snowball were the most common), I decided to give the bunny a South Slavey name – the Aboriginal language spoken in these parts. Her name is Zhah, which means snow.

Before my animal-loving friends pipe in and tell me that rabbits do not do well with noise, I want to assure you that I did my research beforehand. I read many places that rabbits are not the best classroom pets. However, I am considering this as an animal rescue. The poor bunny had been neglected by its owner and shared a house with a barking dog. I know that my students can give her more love and attention than in her old home. Besides, my students know that they need to keep their voices down in the classroom if they are going to even get close to petting that soft fur. They are so excited to see her on Tuesday!

I also wanted to share some pictures of some changes in the school this year. We are really trying to add more cultural things in the school. So, some of the teachers have made cultural cabinets and have included pictures of some of our community’s Elders.

Pictures of Elders in the middle

Pictures of Elders in the middle of the school

IMG_5458

The cultural display. Isn’t it great?

IMG_5460

I absolutely love the centre of our school! We even started having our Friday assemblies in the centre here instead of the gym. What a warm and welcoming place to do this!

Well, that’s it for now. Before I sign off, I wanted to share a song that my class was learning this week. I decided that I would bring in my guitar this week right away and sing some songs together. They are completely captivated by music! The song we were learning is Better Together by Jack Johnson. Click the link below to listen to the song. It’s such a feel-good song!

Better Together

Thanks for stopping by and reading a bit about my crazy life lately. 🙂