What To Expect…


What to expect. That is kind of the big question at this point. Given the state of the world right now, things are going to look a little different this year, for all of us. The Summer Teacher Summit was done virtually in June, and the “passing of the torch” (or the Teacher on the Trail™ sleeping bag) from Kelly Villar to myself was also a bit different (see video here https://iditarod.com/edu/sleeping-bag-arrives-in-ohio/). With question marks about what the upcoming school year will look like, we are all awaiting answers.

But here is what you can expect from me…

I will be posting 3 times each month (the 1st, 10th and 20th), starting next month in September.

We all love hearing from the mushers themselves, so one of my monthly posts will be called “Moments with Mushers” and will contain interview responses and personal stories from their careers. Some of the mushers participating will be Dan Seavey, Dick Mackey, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Jeff Deeter, Matthew Failor, Anna Berington,  Martin Buser and possibly others!  Because I was able to talk with both mushers who are currently involved with the sport and ones who have since retired, many of these features will focus on how things have changed within the sport of mushing and in the Iditarod itself. Be sure to check in to these each month.

Since we are ALL still learning everyday, another one of my monthly posts will be called “Misconceptions and More”. This feature will give educators the opportunity to learn something new that can also be shared with students! I know I learn something new every year I teach about the Iditarod. These will be informative and help to provide a better understanding of the race, the sport of mushing, and the history of both.

The historic Iditarod Trail begins in Seward, Alaska. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Finally, each month in my “Classroom Connections” post, I will be doing a spotlight on a lesson from my own classroom. This feature will include a lesson plan that can be adapted to multiple grade levels, in order to provide a helpful resource for others who are teaching about the Iditarod. I have paced out a sequential series of lessons that I will be doing year-long, which anyone can use as a guide. For this year specifically, I will include a “(V)” in the title of the post to indicate when a lesson can be done virtually!

As we go through the year, I also hope to spotlight other educators around the country and some of the projects, activities and lessons that are being done to integrate the Iditarod into the curriculum!


I am really looking forward to sharing this experience. Please reach out if you have any project ideas, lessons or questions about anything! Email me at emailtheteacher@gmail.com.