Leave a Footprint

Brown bear, grizzly, paw prints at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

2012 Teacher on the Trail™, Blynne 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 time in her career, she taught in a school for students who had been expelled from regular public school. It was a rough group of high school boys. She shared about how difficult it was to get these hardened fellows to be excited about anything academic. Finally, as she began to incorporate Gary Paulsen’s book, Winterdance, they could relate and begged for more about the Iditarod race.

Joe Redington, Sr. left a footprint for all of us with his dream to preserve the historic Iditarod Trail and to keep the sled dog tradition alive.  He spearheaded the movement to start the Iditarod race in 1973.

Each of us as educators can leave a “footprint” on our students by introducing them to the Iditarod race. Whether you incorporate Iditarod related lessons beginning in September or start up a couple weeks before the March 3rd start in 2018, your students will be motivated, engaged, and challenged because of the depth involved in all aspects of the race and those who make it happen.

Annie Kelley passes out the Teacher on the Trail™ sleeping bag to Heidi Sloan

I have begun my tenure as the 20th Teacher on the Trail™, following 19 terrific teachers who brought lessons to teachers around the world. My goal is to provide you with interesting articles and lesson plans you can use in order to leave a positive footprint on your students this coming school year.