June 6, 2017. Officially, the second last day of school, but really the last day of school. Let me explain.
Everything was done. Classwork, final exams, and report cards. Several teachers had gone ahead and had their students clean out their desks, and stack the chairs & desks in a corner of their respective classrooms. I would do the same but after the high school graduation ceremony. I think most of the high school lockers were cleaned out by this time. Several of my students had gone through their old binders and threw out the notes & activities they would not keep. I kept the binders that were in relatively good condition for the fall. Arctic Bay doesn’t have an office supply store and flying up binders is costly. (Binders only last about two years before they need to be replaced). A part of my summer will be spent down south buying binders and other school supplies. I will be reimbursed by the school.
Everyone gathered in the gym for the Year End Assembly. The assembly began with the kindergarten graduation. One end of the gym was decorated with stars, small silhouette posters and a large banner that read Kindergarten in English & Inuktitut. The young & bright graduates were dressed in blue graduation gowns. They were all smiles when their teacher called them up individually to shake their hand and receive their certificate. The parents took pictures with their phones, iPads, and cameras. The graduates of 2017 were applauded for successfully completing the year.
|Winner of the bike.|
|One of the winners of the iPad.|
The students who achieved perfect attendance for one month or more, had their names placed into a draw for a bicycle and iPads. The bicycle was awarded to a student from the younger grades (1 – 4), and two iPads were awarded to two students from Grades 5 to high school.
One staff member would not be returning in August. The Grade 6 teacher, Natalie, was leaving for a new teaching position in another northern community. She was called up front and given a gift from administration. She also gave a short thank you speech.
A round robin of games were prepared to celebrate the end of the school year. There was also a year-end barbecue. Ryan, the media teacher, oversaw the barbecue, and wore a mustard costume for the occasion. He recruited several middle school students to help him. Three of them also wore costumes. The games took place outside in & around the playground. I delivered hot dogs, hamburgers, and juice boxes to the community hall because the high school students were decorating the place for the high school graduation ceremony.
Everyone was dismissed at 3pm. Even though there was one more day of school, many students and Inuit staff were already wishing me a safe & happy summer vacation.
My last day in Arctic Bay was on June 8. I cleaned up my classroom and removed any unwanted posters off the walls. I stacked the tables & chairs in separate corners, creating a very large open space in the middle of the classroom. The floor would be cleaned over the summer break. I turned off the lights but paused when closing the classroom door. “See you in August,” I said to myself. I went home to pack. My flight down south was the next day.
Another academic year has ended. Hard to believe that it’s been four & a half years since I began teaching in Arctic Bay. I’ll be returning in August, but right now, all I’m thinking about are the eight weeks of rest & relaxation that are just around the corner. Well, I won’t be resting the entire eight weeks. I will be doing some travelling, but I won’t say where. You’ll find out in August. Until then, I’ll be taking a break from my blogging duties. Feel free to read my previous posts.
See you all in two months!