Author: Jim (16 posts)


Moments with Mushers: Equipment

  As the mushers start to get ready for the upcoming race, the task of organizing all of their supplies and equipment is beginning to take place. Much like last month’s post about their most important piece of clothing, I asked some of the mushers about their most valued piece of equipment on the trail. …

Update from the Teacher on the Trail™

  2020 was certainly a year of change, and one that nobody will forget. One of the credos of my school district is “Adapt and Adjust”, and that has never been more important than it was this year. With this in mind, I have deferred my Teacher on the Trail™ trail experience until the 2022 …

Misconceptions and More: Passing

  Thinking about some common misconceptions with the race, I was drawn to a parallel with this time of year. With the passing of 2020 (thankfully) and the aspirations of a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the rule of passing in the Iditarod and the misunderstandings surrounding it. NOW, with …

Classroom Connections: Husky Art Drawing (Virtual Lesson Possibility)

  Throughout the years of my teaching about the Iditarod, I have always had a lot of  support from the special areas teachers at my school. These teachers have always been so collaborative, that I wanted to make sure that I included some lessons that can be used with their class content as well. So …

Moments with Mushers: Clothing

  Every musher has their own preferences – on just about everything. So when it comes to the clothing they take on the trail, it is no different. I asked some mushers what their most important piece of clothing is, and how it has changed over the years. As technology constantly improves and new materials …

Misconceptions and More: Red Lantern vs. Widow’s Lamp

  (Imagine this being spoken in the sultry, incomparable voice of the Iditarod Insider’s Greg Heister – at least that’s how I imagine it). “The finish line… what every musher pictures in their mind after they leave Willow and the restart of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. A mere 1,000 miles through weather and terrain …

Classroom Connections: The Red Lantern Award

The Red Lantern has always been, for me, an award that is a matter of perspective. However, more recently it has become a great teaching tool. Through my years of teaching about the Iditarod, students have always asked why there is an award for the last place finisher. This prompts many discussions and stories of …

Moments with Mushers: Qualities and Characteristics

  Living in Ohio, and being an Ohio State alum, each year I look forward to the start of the college football season. After the delayed start this year, I was excited to have this sense of “normalcy” return a couple weeks ago with the return of Big 10 football. Just like the mushers of …

Misconceptions and More: Mushing and the Military

  With the celebrations of Patriot Day in September and Veteran’s Day next month, I have been thinking about our military and the brave men and women who help keep our country safe. When it comes to the role of animals in the military, I’m sure many of us think of horses that were used …

Classroom Connections: 10 Universal Native Values – Community Building (Virtual Lesson Possibility)

In doing some research into the native cultures of Alaska, I stumbled upon a great idea from a teacher who used the 10 Native Universal Values as the cornerstones for setting up her classroom community. I thought this was a brilliant idea. As I explored this topic further, I was able to relate each native …