Paws Along the Trail with History
One of the exciting parts of being Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ is being able to design a personalized patch. The patch is sewn on my parka, backpack, and the Teacher on the Trail™ sleeping bag we use to stay warm on the Iditarod Trail.
Presidents’ Day, which honors the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, was February 19th. Being a federal holiday made it a great morning to travel the normally commuter-jammed highway up to Washington, DC. Wearing my mukluks, I jumped on the airplane for Alaska. Flying to Alaska on Presidents Day seemed to fit because my patch features George mushing a sled dog team from Virginia, his home state, to Alaska!
Choosing to include our first president on my patch was important because my school rests on part of his family land. It is an honor to be teach students about US history when we live and work where the history happened! Once known as the Washington Farm, now the local name is Ferry Farm; it was named after Ferry Road, the path leading to a ferry-landing on the Washington land. The ferry boat would take English colonists across the river into Fredericksburg. For these reasons, I am taking George Washington to Alaska.
What is not well known is how much he loved dogs. Some sources report that Washington owned 36 throughout his lifetime! His love of dogs ties in beautifully with the love the Iditarod mushers have for their dogs.
Along with the tribute to George Washington, my school mascot is the eagle, and music is a joy is so many areas, including school.
2017 Teacher on the Trail™, Annie Kelley, designed an activity for students to create an Iditarod patch for themselves. It can tie into their school, the Iditarod, and something personal. Students can share their patches for an oral language activity. The activity builds camaraderie in the class and helps you better know your students. It’s also an indicator of all they have learned through following the Iditarod race!