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New teachers in the house

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Four new teachers were introduced into the Nunavut education system this past month during a gala ceremony in Rankin Inlet.

NNSL photo/graphic

Clint MacAulay of UBU Sports explains the next step to rec coordinator David Clark, right, while installing artificial turf on the infield of the Rankin Inlet ball diamond this past week. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Earning their Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP) certification were Morris Manilak, Laura Merritt, Blandina Airut and Kayylynn (Panikuluk) Kabluitok.

Three of the grads, Manilak, Merritt and Airut, accepted positions in Rankin, while Kabluitok is taking some time away from her new profession to have a baby.

Kabluitok, 24, said she found the four-year program a bit difficult.

She said there was lots of homework, and having a new instructor every three weeks had its own challenges.

"Their expectations were different in the way they wanted things done," explained Kabluitok.

"One instructor may want something done in a different way than another, so you always have to alter your work to fit their expectations.

"But, the way it's run is a lot better because instead of taking a couple of courses at the same time, you take one course for three weeks straight.

"That made it a lot easier, and more beneficial, for me with a family, because I could focus on one course and the work I needed to get done."

Kabluitok said she hopes to substitute this school year after her baby is born, and then apply for a permanent position the following year.

She said she'd like to teach high school Inuktitut, cultural studies and aulajaaqtut.

"Inuit shouldn't have to move to Ottawa to learn their own culture because it should be taught in school.

"Many people believe if you put your kid in the Inuktitut stream they'll never graduate, but I went through the whole Inuktitut stream.

"We were just as successful as people who went through the English stream and Inuktitut is part of our culture, so I really want to emphasize that."

Kabluitok said you notice a huge difference in elementary classrooms in the Inuktitut stream, compared to English classrooms, because everything's homemade in the Inuktitut classroom.

She said Inuktitut teachers still have to make all their own supplies.

"It's so much work but, at the same time, it would be extremely rewarding because it's our own culture.

"I wish there was a position where you were creating the work for the Inuktitut teachers.

"People don't realize how much work Inuktitut teachers do: typing all the assignments in Inuktitut, printing them off, cutting out the work, pasting it on paper and making photocopies.

"They've been doing the same thing for more than 20 years and they should have their own supplies by now, even with different dialects."

Kabluitok said her classmates, along with Ellen Rumbolt of Baker Lake, just returned from a trip to Europe that took them to London, England, Paris, France, and Rome and Florence, Italy.

She said she had to pass on going to Europe because of her pregnancy.

"We started fundraising for this trip during our first year of the NTEP.

"I was only able to go as far as Winnipeg with them, so I was really looking forward to seeing everyone by the time they got home."

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