On my first day, I arrived too early for anyone to be around to let me into my room. I spent twenty-five minutes pretending to wander the school, going up and down the stairs, looking at the photocopiers, and checking the staff room fridge to make sure that my lunch was still there. Someone finally showed up almost half-an-hour after I arrived and let me in.
At that point I realized that there was no computer in my room. I did not have access to any computers in the building. The only copy I had of my schedule was sitting on my dining room table at home. I had assumed I would be able to access my email to print myself another copy. There were no schedules posted on the walls anywhere. No students were there yet to show me their schedules. I didn’t know what I would teach or where I would teach it.
I lost two classes of kids. I found them again, eventually, but for roughly fifteen minutes of my day I was running around the school looking for students that I didn’t know in classrooms that I couldn’t find.
I had outdoor recess duty on a playground that looked like it had been plucked from the land surrounding a school in Inuvik. I couldn’t feel my face. I chased away a pack of timber wolves that had cornered three grade fives. The wolves dragged off one of them.
Not a bad first day.