Teacher on the Trail™

Engaging lessons based on Insider video clips.


Our four-legged correspondents write for all ages.


Collection of all things Iditarod.

    

    
    
    
    

Latest Teacher on the Trail™ Posts

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Thursday, March 11th

Thursday, March 11th     As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Iditarod vocabulary and terminology, another common point of confusion for my students comes with some of the more common language used throughout the race. We have had many class discussions about different homonyms like the bib “draw” and “scratching”. No, mushers do not …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Wednesday, March 10th

Wednesday, March 10th     There is always a big learning curve with regards to the vocabulary associated with the Iditarod. The quantity alone of race-related terminology can be overwhelming, not to mention the added challenge of pronouncing the names of certain checkpoints and even some of the mushers themselves! In my classroom, we always …

Remembering Nikolai

Tails from the Trail…. Remembering Nikolai Being the 2020 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail was an amazing honor.  My time out on the Iditarod Trail was an experience that I will never forget.   As the mushers make their way into Nikolai, it reminds me of my stop there. Nikolai is the first of many native …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Tuesday, March 9th

Tuesday, March 9th     Every year I read the stories of Balto and Togo to my students in order to introduce them to the sport of mushing and the history of the Iditarod trail. The picture that both stories paint of the blizzard is so powerful that it always seems to stick with the …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Monday, March 8th

Monday, March 8th     The theme of my trail reporting posts this year is “Frequently Asked Student Questions” about the Iditarod and I am going to start today with one that students ask every year. One of the things they are really curious about is what items mushers pack in their sleds. I often …

49th Running in the 49th State – What to Expect

  The countdown on the Iditarod homepage finally reads “0 Days”, which means Race Day is here! The mushers are prepared, Covid screenings have been done, and the race is only hours away. Aaron Peck, wearing Bib #2, will have the honor of leading the charge down the trail at approximately 2:00pm AKST. Mushers will …

Reliving the Ceremonial Start as an IditaRider

For Iditarod fans everywhere, the first Saturday of March always carries with it a feeling of excitement and joy because it traditionally denotes the unofficial start of the Last Great Race on Earth®. It is certainly evident that the COVID-19 Pandemic has significantly impacted society and the world in a multitude of ways, and the …

49th Running in the 49th State – More Than Just a Race

  The Pre-Race Show this year was one for the books, or computers actually! The annual pre-race musher’s banquet was done completely virtually this year. Viewers got a closer look at the course, insights from the mushers themselves and video clips of just about every musher to get to know the field.    In a …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Preview

  This year’s Iditarod will be different for many reasons, one being the actual route that teams will follow. For the first time, mushers will race out to the ghost towns of Iditarod and Flat and then BACK along the same trail, which will take them through some of the most challenging portions of the …

Voices of the Volunteers: Preview (Part 2)

  Susan Smith is not only a long-time Iditarod volunteer, but she is also a former Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ finalist. She is a resident of the small Alaskan town of Takotna, and serves as both the principal and elementary teacher at the Takotna Community School. During her years as a volunteer she has …