Sunday, March 08, 2009

The first paycheque, the first mishap

One thing about living in Fox Creek is that the majority of my paycheque goes to a combination of rent and trips out. I've been here a month and a day, and have made two trips to Edmonton, one to Grande Prairie, and numerous to Whitecourt. We'll be off to Edmonton again next weekend.

I had always thought that I loved small towns, and I think I still do. Unfortunately, Fox Creek does not present itself like a small town; rather, there are a few motels, restaurants, and stores along a small strip on the highway, and then there are a clump of houses in a wooded area beyond the highway. I miss being able to walk in a town, hopping from place to place, meeting people on the main street along the way. Hence the trips out....

The thing about moving to a place for five months is that all the effort put into packing, moving, applying for the new provincial certification, getting my past education and experience assessed, etc., might not be worth it in the end.  By the time I feel comfortable with my classes, with the feel of the school and town, it'll be time to pack up and leave.

I received my first Fox Creek paycheque over a week ago, and have yet to comprehend how teachers who do so much could be paid so little. Of course, I have yet to be placed on the right salary scale because my certification has yet to come through in Alberta, and my NWT experience has yet to be considered. Still.... It makes me wonder if the joys of the classroom really do make up for this dismal pay.

Friday afternoon, a student in my Communication Technology class (i.e. photography, A/V production, and animation) had an accident. Every classroom teacher is bound to have a student get into some memorable mishap. I had a few in Inuvik, and Friday was the day for the first in Fox Creek. Said student became upset at something another student had said, and rolled up some scrap paper to bonk this other student over the head. Unfortunately, poor aim got the better of him, and his hand landed on a pair of scissors that the second student was using to cut up some construction paper. I was not witness to this whole interlude except for the bloody aftermath. A puncture in the palm, a trip to the hospital, and some lost pride resulted. At the end, the wounded student admitted he was the only one to blame for the accident, that he had been goofing off. The second student -- the one holding the scissors -- felt horrible. Why must my afternoon classes be filled with boys, boys, more boys, and only boys? It's true -- there is not a single girl in any of my afternoon classes.

I've been here one month now, and there are a little less than four to go....

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