Friday, October 22, 2010


For those of you who don't know, this post has been retired. Unfortunally at the end of the school year, chief and council decided to lay off over 40 positions in the school, including mine. It was shortly after the last posting that I found out. It was devastating-this was a place I loved very much. I hope by me sharing this blog publically, you'll see another side to teaching that maybe many don't know about.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lighting the Fire 2009

It's so hard to believe that there's only about 1 month left before summer break. It's crazy-on one hand, I really need the break, but on the other hand, I'm really going to miss my students over the summer!

Right now all the teachers are at a conference put on by MFNERC called Lighting the Fire. I wasn't looking forward to it initially. Based on my subject area, I sometimes come away very disappointed but not this time. Instead, I've been really blown away.

The first workshop I took was about finding funding outside the box. We were taught how to write proposals and business plans, as well as learning about various grants that are available. The presenter was extremely inspirational. He works at Peguis, and has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for their community.

Today, I attended a whole day workshop about bringing theatre into the school programming. Wow. I'll add her name in later, but she's well respected in the native community. Her mother also came, who is quite the inspiration herself (a professor at University of Toronto with a doctorate in sociology, an actress, and an established writer/novelist). Both of them together had so much knowledge to pass on. It was simply incredible. I am so tired...the class wore me out, but it was amazing.

I have one day left and that's tomorrow, so I'm hoping the pattern will continue!

I went out for lunch today with one of the teacher's, and we had a great time...I love Dolly. She's like a breath of fresh air, and one thing she said to me was that she admired the strength I have and she can see it within me. I needed to hear that. It meant the world as I've struggled to find my place in amongst some of the teaching staff at the school. I don't fit in a box to put mildly and while I wouldn't refer to my teaching style as radical, it could be considered by some as such. It was just so nice to sit and chat and talk and laugh our asses off!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Unbelievable Roads

So, this is my first year of ever experiencing roads like this. It's crazy, deadly, and unfathonable that in this day of age, we have roads like this. Where I work, there's no pavement, except for the school parking lot and maybe a block stretch from the school to the main road. For the most part, i would estimate the main road to be a couple miles maybe of clay-like dirt. Where's the gravel? Good question....the roads haven't been well maintained, and if there is any gravel left, there's very little of it.

I should point out that because of the roads, we haven't had school Wednesday and Thursday of this week. I'm kinda scared that they'll try to make us go tomorrow. The roads are super scary, and I don't want anyone to get hurt.

I've been able to get my hands on some pics and thought I'd post them for you all to see.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Tragedy

There is so much sorrow, so much tragedy out on the reserve. Earlier this year, we lost a little girl from our school in a house fire. Today, another house fire claimed the life of a little boy in kindergarten. Do you know how common it is to see the flag at half mast? We just had three deaths, with the last being buried last week-a brother of a coworker, a son of a coworker, and a baby (my student's nephew). Deaths seems to come in three, and it's a firm belief out on the reserve. So we can honestly expect two more.

These people are some of the strongest I've ever seen-I've never seen so much tragedy in my life. I have a hard time grasping it at times, but they deal with it on a daily basis. You have to understand that when one person is affected, all are affected. People are all interconnected, and it affects everybody. I know it's taken a toll on myself, but imagine the toll it's taken on the people out there? This is their daily life, 24/7.


Well my friends, you've obviously realized that I've now made my blog private. By making it private, I can also be a bit more descriptive of what's going on and where I am, but that's not the true reason. Without going into details, lately I've been feeling like I need to be a little more careful with whom I share things.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Student's View

We're completing the last part of our human rights unit-now on the residential schools in Canada. I had the kids do a web of what they knew and what they thought about the residential schools. I was surprised by one of my student's webs. It was very thought provoking. he basically felt his people had been prostituted out by the government in exchange for the restitution money. Ii understood where he was coming from-he was saying he felt his people were being bought off. Whether or not I agree, you have to recognize where this boy is coming from. He's sayin the money is not enought for the damage it's done to his people.

He's been through so much and experienced so much. I almost didn't even realize that he had such deep thoughts about the subject. You see, he's the life of the party, and it can be very hard to get serious answers out of him. He could be a great leader if he chose to stay on the right path. He would make a great lawyer for his people I believe.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Disappointments Along the Way

I struggle whether or not I should record my feelings of discouagement. I want this blog to showcase the great things, not necessarily the not so great things. At the same time, I feel I need to be honest as disappointments and tragedy is quite common here on the reserve.

People think that there is all the money in the world for anyone who is native or any organization that is native oriented. I can't speak for all places, but the people here are not rich. The school is not rich. The school has a lot of difficulties. I've been without a fridge for almost a year now and I'm a Home Ec teacher. I brought in a tiny bar fridge, and that's quit now...I sell pop to bring money in for food, school supplies, etc. I don't quite like selling pop as I feel it's a total oxymoron, but it brings in money.

And today, I discovered that my digital camera, worth a lot of money, was stolen. I accidently forgot it at school last night, and now it's gone. I'm just grateful that my pictures were uploaded from my great grandmother's recent birthday. I'm not a rich person. I put a lot of my own money back into the classroom, and I work hard to make ends meet. I also don't think it was any of my own students. I don't know who would have taken it, but it's so discouraging. That camera is used all the time for school, for my art, family, and other things. It's so discouraging. I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to replace it. Things are tight right now, for everybody.

Update: got my camera back!!!!