From Community to Family – Teaching in Northern Canada

Fresh out of university, and deep into debt, I made my way north to teach high school English in Norway House, Manitoba. With temperatures in the -40s and -50s, and isolation from family, cities, and most forms of entertainment, I had to be creative with my time and the relationships built with other community members. It was this unique environment that changed community members to friends within a few short weeks and friends to family within the first year. The family that I created while I was there has taught me to live life to the fullest, love and support the people that love and support you, and make the most out of each journey that comes your way.  I look back on my experiences in Norway House, Manitoba with fond memories of icy cold days, holiday celebrations, long drives, learning new things, sharing, dancing, and creating a bond that is unbreakable. Continue reading

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3 First (Worst) Teaching Days – #1 – Riverview, NB – If I Could Only Make it There

3 First (Worst) Teaching Days

As a teacher for over 8 years and in various schools around the country, my journey was filled with happiness, laughter, fear, nervousness and countless other emotions, often at the same time. Students have a unique way of touching your heart, driving you completely insane, and making you proud all at once. The first day of the school year can often set the tone for the entire year. It can be a stressful day naturally, but when you add a first day curse things can get out of hand. I’ve experienced the craziest first days during my career; including no heat over night in -50 degrees, going to the hospital with a concussion, and not making it to work because of a freak storm disaster. They are powerful enough to make you question entering the teaching profession altogether. Follow me on my first days of disaster and teaching.

#1 – Riverview, New Brunswick – If I Could Only Make it There

I moved, or attempted to move, to Moncton, New Brunswick from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on November 20, 2008 to start a teaching position at Riverview High School. My job officially started the next day and I played out a thousand first day scenarios. I wanted to finally have a great first day teaching and I thought with years of experience and a history of not so great first day I could finally have a change of luck. With only what I could fit in the car, I began my journey alone. It was early in the winter season and I didn’t worry about the weather or the road conditions, but that was a mistake that I will not make so easily again. Continue reading