Juli Westrich 2023

SEL Snack: Native Values and Self-Management

Last month’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) “snack” focused on building Self-Awareness so students can identify big emotions. Now that our learners are more aware of, and can label, their feelings, the task is to figure out what to do about it. To avoid tantrums, freak outs, and meltdowns I provide a framework and tools to …

Attitude Is Everything

It’s hard to believe “All Sass September” is almost over! This means teachers everywhere deserve a pat on the back for making it through those first weeks of school. We’ve tackled tears and tantrums alongside routines and expectations, all while staying cool, calm, and collected (on the outside at least). The initial hurdles have been …

It’s All About FUNctional Fitness

We’re off to a great start with our “All Sass September,” so let’s look at one of the factors that contributed to Brent Sass winning the 2022 Iditarod – physical fitness.  As Sass states, “The physical ability of the musher has become a much larger factor in the race over the last 10 years.”  Many …

SEL Snack: Advice From A Champion

A few weeks ago I had the great fortune to interview 2022 Iditarod Champion Brent Sass, and that interview will inform my next few posts – it’s going to be an All Sass September! Brent Sass is no stranger to success; as a three time Yukon Quest champion and six time Iditarod finisher, Iditarod Rookie …

Iditarod Identity

As I contemplate the beginning of the year I am reminded of all the things I need to incorporate into my curriculum – like SEL and the CR-SE Framework. Yes, I just threw out another acronym, but don’t panic just yet. Like SEL, (see previous post Iditarod Gives All the Feels) the CR-SE Framework enhances …

Getting Started – Iditarod Style

Teachers are returning to the classroom and setting the stage for a year of engaging learning. Some of us have used Iditarod for years, and have a plan to integrate the race into the curriculum. Others are new to using the race in the classroom, and are unsure of how to proceed.   Do you start …

SEL Snack: Iditarod Gives ALL the Feels

As a teacher, it feels like every year there is a new “trend” (and a new acronym) that needs to be integrated into the curriculum. Overwhelmed and frustrated are two emotions I feel when another buzzword comes across my desk or a new pilot program is pitched in an email. It would be easy to …

Rookie Run Requirements

Hanna Lyrek is the 2022 Iditarod Rookie of the Year, the first of seven rookies to cross the finish line in Nome. What is the definition of an Iditarod rookie? Technically, it is musher who has never finished an Iditarod, someone out on the trail for the first (or second, or third…) time, who has …

Learning at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Our Alaska adventure ended back where we started in Anchorage. We had come full circle, and to conclude our explorations we visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn more about the Indigenous groups that live in Alaska.  The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a wealth of information and history, but also a place to …

A Century of Dogsledding – Denali Kennels

Dogsledding has been part of life in Alaska for a very long time. As snow machines (mobiles), planes, and four-wheel drive vehicles started appearing in the remote areas of Alaska, the sled dog began to disappear. The Iditarod was established as a race to revive the use of, and appreciation for, the sled dog – …