Teacher's Journal

Leave a Footprint

2012 Teacher on the Trail™, Blynn Froke, spoke to us of her adventures. She also shared an engaging lesson incorporating the Iditarod into reading, research, and art with an etching project. We thoroughly enjoyed trying our hand at etching sled dogs onto boards, but there was more to her presentation that hit me. At one …

Running For More

The annual volunteer and musher sign-up picnic has a festive atmosphere where even the most competitive opponents greet each other as comrades and catch up over grilled salmon, pork BBQ, and coleslaw.  We teachers were wide-eyed as we actually met the mushers our students have tracked in the Iditarod year after year.  What I especially enjoyed was …

Character Education

Alaska’s native people groups and the Iditarod share the distinction as teaching tools for character education.  “My mother told me, ‘when you get into the qasgi and someone starts to talk, turn to him and look at his mouth very carefully. If you do not look at his mouth while he is talking, you will never …

To Moose, or Not to Moose

Being surrounded by a passionate group of teachers during Iditarod Summer Teacher Camp this week has been a great time of professional development. As you can imagine, with this much creativity packed into one camp, humor and conversation abounds. We deviated a bit from correct grammar this week and created a new verb: moose, or …

Then and Now

One aspect of our Iditarod Summer Teacher Camp learning involves comparing and contrasting Iditarod races in the early days and current years. Several mushers have alluded to the changes. Last evening, we visited the home and studio of artists Jon and Jona VanZyle. Jon spoke with us and told about some of the developments he’s …

Flying For the Iditarod

The Iditarod Air Force is an integral part of the race. From 26 to 29 volunteer pilots use their own time and planes to fly in supplies to the checkpoints along the Iditarod Trail. Two weeks before the race, these brave aviators begin taking in the mushers’ drop bags of supplies and straw. While the …

All About the Dogs

Roll call at Iditarod Summer Teacher Camp begins with breakfast and then out to the dog yard for chores and puppy walks. Chores include helping the mushers and handlers refill water pans, love the dogs, and maintain cleanliness in the area, or in the camp vernacular, scoop poop. The physical and mental health of the …

Land of the Midnight Sun

What is a 5th grade teacher from Virginia doing in Alaska 15 hours after waving goodbye to her sweet students on the last day of school? I’m here to represent and inspire teachers all over the world, beginning my 2018 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ adventure! It will be an honor to have you join …

An Iditarod Goodbye

Two years ago today I started my first trek to Alaska.  I was excited to explore this beautiful state, and to learn more about using the Iditarod in my classroom.  Little did I know that this first visit to Alaska would lead to 4 more within the last two years.  My journey as Teacher on …

Alaska Sealife Center: Distance Learning

Counting the Iditarod SEVEN Checkpoints Visited by the Teacher on the Trail This year I had the opportunity to visit seven villages along the Iditarod Trail: Nenana, Tanana, Ruby, Galena, Nulato, Elim, and White Mountain.  Each checkpoint was unique, and they were all excited to have the mushers, dogs, and volunteers visit their village.  In …