Here are some pictures of my walk to school, about 15 minutes.
Teachers are provided with “teacherages”. This is the one I was allocated. I like it because it is close to the water and “The Northern” – the only store in town.
You can see a fuel tank to the left. As far as I can tell, as this is a fly-in community, a year’s supply of fuel must be brought in via the winter road, which is open January – February, and then stored around the community. Fuel is used for vehicles and also to generate electricity.
Here is a better view of the water (river, I believe) behind my teacherage.
There are a number of stray dogs around, known locally as “rez dogs”. One in particular has become my pal. She walks me to school. Sometimes when I go into school and sit at my desk she stands on her hind legs and looks in the window. This stray isn’t my pal, just decided to meander into the picture.
I’m told that later in the winter wolves may venture into the community and snatch a stray dog for food.
I arrive at the school. That’s Ojibwe at the top half of the sign. This is one of the few First Nations communities in which the language has been preserved.
Here’s the section of road I just walked. The roads here aren’t paved.
With apologies to the Beatles, here is the school on the hill.
The school itself is about two years old. The old school, which was located in a different area in the community, has been torn down and an updated, larger nursing station is being built in its place.
The view from the top. The trailers are where the construction crew building the new nursing station stay. You can also see a hockey rink.
Huffing and puffing notwithstanding, I’m ready to go into the school. This bulletin board is in the entranceway where students can keep their outdoor shoes. The door leads to the gym.
The gym is visible by looking through the window in the door.
Entering the school you can see an open area. At the back are some fold-up tables. We use these tables for our breakfast program. Breakfast for all students is provided before school starts. There is a kitchen to the right, but you can’t see it here.
The window on the left looks into the library. Out back is the playground for grades 2-8. To the right you can see windows and a large door. This is the multipurpose room.
The multipurpose room has fitness equipment for staff to use. It also serves, approximately once per month, as a courtroom. There is no other suitable facility in the community to have court, so it happens here. School is closed on court days.
Slightly to the right (out of sight), down the hall, is a bulletin board honoring the Seven Teachings: Humility, Respect, Honesty, Bravery, Love, Wisdom and Truth.
When I first started, I was hired as the Reading Intervention Teacher. This was my room:
There is special funding for the reading intervention teacher. This is an excellent program. Unfortunately I may not be able to find a replacement. Although in southern Ontario many teachers would find this a dream job, it is difficult to find teachers to work up here and it may remain unfilled for some time.
That’s all for today.
May you live with ease,