While on the phone with my mom last night, she asked me “what are you going to do with the kids for Canada Day tomorrow?”. Living in the bubble of isolation here, I hadn’t even thought about it. So, at the last minute I gathered together what I could to ‘Canadian-ize’ my geometry lesson for today.
After singing happy birthday to Canada, the kids willingly put Canadian flag stickers on their faces (and were so excited about them!). I played Great Big Sea while they did a geometry puzzle and then gave rewards of maple leaf pencils and red and white candies. They absolutely loved it. Throughout the day, kids from other classes were coming and saying ‘Happy Canada Day Miss Tanya!”
The day was wonderful until last period. As the kids were coming into the class and getting out their books, the principal came in and started yelling at three girls. Then, right in front of me, in the middle of my class, he started beating them on their backs with a wooden stick. When he left the classroom, one of the girls started crying and I tried to figure out what had just happened but I too was emotional and didn’t want them to see me upset and angry, so I forged on with my lesson.
While I see this kind of beating on a regular basis around the school, this is the second time it interrupted my class and distracted me. So, I have decided that I am going to speak to the principal. I know that I will not change the way he does things. Gosh, even the fact that corporeal punishment is illegal doesn’t stop him from doing it. But, I can’t stay silent. In a respectful, professional manner I will kindly ask him not to beat them in front of me, during my class. I will let you know how it goes!
Anyways, other than that incident, it was a great Canada Day. My only regret was not having my camera with me to take a photo of smiling kids with the Canada flag stickers all over their faces!
In the words of one of my students, Eveline Katura, in a card she made me “Happy Canada Day! God bless all the wonderful people that live in Canada.”