Juli Westrich 2023

SEL Snack: Generational Learning

Redington. Seavey. Smyth. Mackey. At the 50th running of the Iditarod, these legendary family mushing dynasties were referenced again and again. The mushers and organizers of the first Iditarod committed to rescuing the sled-dog, and reviving the cultural significance of mushing to the history of Alaska. These values, and the love of mushing, have been passed …

Turn On the Lights!

Late January is a difficult time of year; all of the bright holiday lights have come down as the snow, slush, and cold have settled in, and any sign of spring is too far away to see. Finding a way through this long stretch is possible, especially when we focus on the inner light that …

Light Up The Night!

Last year, as a finalist for the position of 2023 Teacher on the Trail, I visited Alaska from February 26 through March 7, 2022. I fielded many questions about the experience, but one that always seemed to crop up was, “How much daylight did you have? Because it must have been pretty dark up there …

SEL Snack: New Year’s Resolution – Be Kind

January 1st. The New Year is a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. It is a day of potential – a strange sort of limbo where anything is possible in the coming year. Resolutions are made with the hope that in two months…six months…nine months we will be fitter, …

Barriers to Entry

I’ve been wrapping presents this week and, as a busy mom, that sometimes includes wrapping my own gifts. While sorting and organizing it became clear that the theme of my holiday is “winter weather gear.”  I wrapped, and will unwrap, liner gloves, Smartwool socks, three sets of base layer long underwear, two mid layer wool …

Iditarod Now and Venn

Earlier this month I shared a post about the importance of representation; students need to see people like them doing, achieving, and experiencing all types of activities in this world. Representation provides a sense of belonging, hope, and inspiration. To quote Iditarod finisher Will Troshynski again, “Representation matters. Seeing a possibility for someone like yourself …

SEL Snack: Representation Matters

Crossing the finish line in the early morning hours of March 15, 2022, Brent Sass was crowned champion of the 50th Iditarod. I immediately texted my oldest daughter to let her know “her musher” had won the Iditarod. My family became Iditarod Insiders a decade ago and each year we each select one musher to …

NOT In It To Win It

I run, but I’m not competitive and I don’t always enjoy it. I started running pretty late in life, as a new mom who wanted to return to her pre-baby pants size and not be out of breath climbing the stairs to grab a diaper. Running worked for me because I could squeeze in 2 …

Who Pulls the Sled?

Iditarod is where dogs run the race, but the race runs on volunteers. This is a pretty bold statement, one I made in a post earlier this month, and I stand by it. I’m not alone in recognizing that the volunteers are the heroes of the Iditarod. The mushers are aware that their ability to …

SEL Snack: Volunteer to be Grateful

In the October IditarodEDU newsletter I teased that this SEL “Snack” would focus on gratitude. (Are you getting the newsletter??? If not, you definitely should sign up HERE for MUSH ON!, the free monthly digital newsletter from IditarodEDU that provides a ton of cool stories, great education ideas, and insider information!) Part of developing good …