Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I should be grading....

Here's a new post.  Life here is an adventure.  In a few words... I am constantly busy.  Hence the delay in posting.  I'm actually writing 2 quizzes for my class so I'll make this entry short and just write by topic.

Visiting the dump...
As a means of stretching our legs and blowing off work for a little while 2 other teachers and I rode a boat to the village dump.  It's about a mile upriver from here and it is quite the experience.  We were greeted by the smell of trash.  What else would you expect?  We did a bit of scavenging to see if there might be something that was once someone's rubbish and could be our treasure.  No such luck.  Although we did get some neat pictures standing on an old scale and playing a video game guitar.  After a bit of picture taking and tundra squishing we made our way back.    Here are some pictures taken on our adventure.

Interesting lessons
I feel like I should include times where I feel like I'm doing the right stuff at my job.  Sometimes in this field it's hard to see the progress/successes because "you're elbow deep in the trenches".  Recently I've seen major growth in student behavior and engagement.  It's been great to see that change because now we are able to do fun lessons like while learning about rocks and the earth's make up we created "sedimentary sandwiches" and "metamorphic chocolate chip rocks".  Some other lessons have been building polygons with straws and even drawing geographic features on an Alaskan map.  Cool stuff right?

In a past post I told you all about a cross country practice that helped me feel accomplished.  I should have posted about the meet we had.  It was a great experience and totally worth all the sore muscles and tired bodies.  I got a chance to meet other students and new teachers.  I even received an offhand compliment from another coach.  Evidently the students are rubbing off on me.  Be aware that I might give you an eyebrow raise or use village lingo when talking on Skype or over the phone.  Now that that season is over it's time for wrestling to begin.  I'm not really a coach for the team, but more of a volunteer.  It's fun to see the kids work dilligently at their workouts and practices.  I'll be chaperoning and helping keep the girls going during the season.  Outside of sports, my principal has approached me about doing tutoring for my students.  I think it's a great idea and totally necessary for a majority of students.  To put it simply, I am very busy right now... and it will probably only get busier.

New Teacher Support
Last but not least, I'm super lucky to have the support system I do.  I have an awesome significant other, rocking best friends, and mentors cheering me on.  It means a ton to have everyone back home giving support, advice, and packages (HINT HINT!!!).  Aside from Indiana love, I've got my own group of friends developing right here in Alaska.  First there is Gia, my gal pal up here.  We bonded over internet grocery shopping during our first inservice.  Most recently we have come to share sushi and diet cokes at our favorite restaurant in Bethel.  I also have 5 guys that pretty much make my inservices and experience up here worthwhile.  Here's a break down of who the guys are.  Matt is the unpredictable one.   I say that with complete honesty.  For example, you never know when he'll randomly yell out "WILDCARD".  Ken is the teddy bear.  He is one of the sweetest and generous guys I've met.  I love listening to his impressions of our our favorite district staff member.  Eli... he's pretty much my brother up here.  We have become roommates that don't actually live together.  We share meals and new teacher woes.  Ben is the mastermind of all the planning for the group.  If there's something going on he's usually behind it.  I also love that he's the other elementary teacher of the group... which makes complaining about curriculum that much easier.  Finally there is Pat.  Pat is the Patriot's fan.  (I KNOW I KNOW... I shouldn't even talk to him. ;))  Aside from that flaw, he's the quiet and sarcastic one.  He's always got a comeback... usually centered around Indiana.

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