February 9, 2021

Well, well, well. It seems that time really does fly when you get old. I would like to think that I’m not older, but wiser, unfortunately, I’m older. I keep getting older, but I’m not sure I’m getting all that wiser. I know more things that I did a year ago, that’s for sure.

Let’s see, a year ago, I was recovering from a medical leave and contemplating taking early retirement. I was also, the willing and I think somewhat competent assistant at Donna’s Day Home. A home based day home for pre-schoolers run by my lovely, talented, and very competent wife Donna. Three things happened to cause me to reconsider my situation and end my official retirement after a week or so. First, did I mention it was a pre-school, with up to 8 kids. I’m a career educator, I prefer high school, then middle years, then elementary, I think you get the point. My comfort level was never really with the pre-schoolers. Don’t get me wrong, they were a lot of fun, but man, I was exhausted most days. Second, the Covid pandemic hit in March and that put an end to the Day Home, at least for a while. Finally, my oldest daughter Meghan, who was teaching in Igloolik, Nunavut, called and told me they were looking for principals at the schools there. So, never being afraid of a little adventure, I threw my name in the ring, and before I knew it, I was signed up for a 3-year ‘Tour of Duty’ as the principal of the new Middle School. The new school in the old high school building. The old high school got to move to the brand new high school building.

So, the adventure has been very interesting and the learning curve has been steep in some ways, and yet in other ways it has been just another day at school.

During the past year, the community has seen the schools closed to students and staff from March to June and again for a few weeks in November. On Feb 4, we reopened to regular days with all the students at school everyday. Since Dec 3, we’ve been on an alternate schedule with 7 one day and 8&9 the next.

The schools opened in mid-August and our school has had the expected growing pains and some that weren’t expected. I’ll go into some of these things later, but it’s important to mention that we’ve made it through. Out of 20 Staff, professional and support, 5 were in the community the previous year. The secretary, counsellor, and caretakers, are all new staff, but local people. The professional staff, 6 are first year teacher’s, 4 have about 15 years combined experience. That leaves 5 veteran educators, combined we have over 120 years experience. It’s been a very rewarding challenge working with a young staff, I think things are going well. At least that’s what the word on the street is.

And it’s not as cold as it usually is. At least not right now. In fact the last few days it’s been warmer here than down South, particularly back home in Saskatoon. I’m not sure this is a good thing, mind you it’s still around -20 C. It’s been too cold to get outside much so it’s been indoor exercise. Some of the teacher’s have been playing indoor soccer for a few weeks on Friday evenings and I’ve been doing some running/walking on the treadmill. At least until a couple of weeks ago when the treadmill decide to stop working. That’s forced me to move my running into the school using the hallways and the gym. Again, more about that on a different page.

My secretary says spring is on the way. She’s lived here her whole life, so I’ll take her word for it. All I know is that the Sun is back and the daylight is lasting longer each day. I can’t wait until the 24 hours of daylight. That’ll be another ‘first’ to add to the list.

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