3 First (Worst) Teaching Days – #2 – Norway House, Manitoba – Anyone Up for a Hospital Visit?

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.

#2 – Norway House, Manitoba – Anyone Up for a Hospital Visit?
I arrived in Norway House, Manitoba just early enough to catch the local flu bug that was going around. The day before school started, I was sick and miserable with few options. It was the the first day of school so I wasn’t exactly going to call in sick. I woke up that morning with watery eyes, a churning stomach, and a pounding head. The thought of a first day curse crossed my mind after my experience in Shefferville, Quebec but I quickly diminished it and went about planning my day. My first strategy was to eat as little as possible before heading to work. I had been throwing up everything that went into my stomach and I wasn’t prepared to vomit on one of my students. My second goal was to dress in warm clothing since I suffered from chills for two days. I assumed it would keep my body temperature at an even rate for the day and I could take off the top layer if I was too hot. Finally, I was going to arrive early, although this wasn’t exactly because of being sick since my idea of being on time is an hour early anyway, to settle in to my classroom and prepare for the day. I wanted to create as little interruption as possible so I made this plan of action, but it turned out to be a long list of disastrous choices.

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9 thoughts on “3 First (Worst) Teaching Days – #2 – Norway House, Manitoba – Anyone Up for a Hospital Visit?

  1. Lesley, nobody else can be as honest and as entertaining as you about your own disastrous times! You rise above each and every one of them with such aplomb, no matter what! What an inspiration you are while we are still passing out and heaving right along with you!


  2. Lesley, When I first starting reading your blog I kept asking myself “who is this girl?” I imagined you to be a very ultra chic, and either very wealthy woman in order to travel to so many countries or had connections to American Airlines : ) Either way I’m so glad you are posting these hilarious stories. As a special education teacher (now SAHM) your stories had me grinning and wincing at the same time. Wolves, creepy teachers, ew. (Walking in the south Bronx a loose pit bull did walk next to me once. I almost had a heart attack so I can understand the wolves thing and I don’t blame you for leaving. Actually I thought it was very brave of you to know and understand your limits and say “see ya” to that teaching job. I think you posting these stories has enhanced your blog even more (at least it did for me) because now not only do I think you are still ultra chic ; ) but believe that if a wonderful teacher and person as yourself can have so many adventures than the next person who dreams of traveling, adventures etc., can do it too. ( it just takes careful planning, a desire to just “go for it”, and an openness to experiences, good or bad). Thanks for being so honest with your readers.

    p.s. I know you and your husband are having a baby soon. Many heartfelt congratulations! It will be an adventure of a lifetime. Anyhow, I thought of you the other day. You may want to check out The baby and Toddler cookbook by Karen Ansel and Charity Ferreira. It’s a very helpful and wonderful edition to add to you baby cookbook collection ( I know you reviewed a baby cookbook once on your blog).

    Cheers! (sorry this was so long)


    • Nareen,

      I am neither chic or wealthy (well, not wealthy in the “I have lots of money” sense). I started traveling regularly after teaching in Norway House for two years. I put away every penny possible during that time and lived life like a university student. That way of living has continued with me throughout my experiences. I don’t live in a fancy house, or a house at all for that matter. My husband and I, and our baby girl in March, live in a two-bedroom condo that was the cheapest we could find in this area. We drive used vehicles that we paid cash for and only purchased them when we could do so. I drive a Saturn Ion and I’m completely happy with it. We don’t go out for dinner regularly, unless it’s to quench my craving for McDonalds or pizza and we usually buy our clothing secondhand. I don’t wear make-up and I’ve cut my own hair for years. All of these little things, and more, allow us to use our money for what is important to us.

      I also try to find ways to offer writing in exchange for coverage/advertising and its helped a great deal over the last few months.

      When I traveled in Europe, my first big adventure, I slept in hostels, tents, and sometimes in a car on the side of the road. I limited my expenses by avoid paying for tours and eating at the hostels or fast food. Most hostels offered a free breakfast and if I took some with me, I had lunch on them as well. The point is, I didn’t have any money but I wanted it more than anything so I found ways to make it happen and I’ve been doing it ever since.

      Everyone is capable of living the life of their dreams. They just have to be willing to go for it! I know that some people struggle financially or physically and that does add limitations but I still believe that anything is possible.

      Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment; it’s always appreciated,



  3. Lesley,
    I love reading these! What a great idea for a strand of posts. As a teacher, I can really sympathize with you, although I can’t say I’ve ever endured that! I really enjoy hearing about your experiences – they put mine into perspective. I’m teaching in Egypt right now, and I’ve been sharing your blog with fellow teachers here. Can’t wait to read #1!


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