What she didn't know was that it was still up in the air when I left with three weeks left in the school year. Sophie was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and I didn't want to miss the birth of my son, so I wrapped up exams early, planned a few projects for my replacement, and went to Montreal.
A couple of weeks later, the principal called me up and told me that the student who was supposed to go into the IPL program would repeat grade 7 and again be in my class. There was just no way around it. I had had such a hard time with him, but I really did not want to leave Kangiqsujuaq just like that. So, I neglected to tell Sophie.
Let me tell you, when we arrived and I announced my class list to her, she wasn't very impressed with me. However, secretly I think she was glad that I hadn't told her. She wanted to come back too.
I had a much more enjoyable year. Despite the challenges posed by the student in question, I had a much stronger and more well-behaved group than in my first year. It certainly helped that I had a year of experience under my belt. At the time, I thought that four of my students would graduate in five or six years. We were able to do much, much more than my first year class. At the end of the year, I was generally more upbeat about education in Nunavik.
However, even though I had a more agreeable year, the results are much the same. From that first tough year with the enormous behavioural problems, I had one student who made it as far as grade 10. From my second year, so far there is one in grade 10, with the possibility of one more moving up to grade 10 next year. The others, for one reason or another, have all dropped out.
Uggghhh. That's not exactly an uplifting note to end on, but I'm just not feeling it today.