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Thursday, October 11, 2012

To Teach is to Change Lives...

Getting started on another month-long stint of travel, I look forward to the blessing of seeing the colors of the leaves (where there are trees) and the tundra of western Alaska change from the air. Tomorrow wraps up a week in Alakanuk and Emmonak and Sunday starts a week of Marshall and Russian Mission. 

From the delta to the interior, the climate, culture, and communities change in a variety of ways. I look forward to seeing Marshall teachers for the first time this year at their sites and Raiders for the second and even third time this year. With winter approaching the Upriver sites will be bathed in gold, orange, and brilliant reds as trees shed their summer coats of green and hunker down for the cold. 

I have to say things have taken a turn for the better here in LYSD. The new teachers this year are, by and large, phenomenal educators and genuinely wonderful people. I say this not just because I have been cooked for or shared a meal with every night this week, but because they are truly special individuals. Their passion is obvious and their spirit is inspiring.

With all the shake-ups in the district office of late, I feel as though the norm across the district has been to follow their own lead and take initiative to be autonomous to a certain extent. I like the idea of this, and I love the idea of home-grown concepts. My role, namely in the realm of staff development and facilitator of LYSD resources, has become more substantial than ever. I feel well received and useful, not intrusive or unwelcome.

I thank my LYSD team of teachers for all they do. I thank them for their time spent planning brilliant lessons. I thank them for the hours outside of the "workday" tutoring, coaching, mentoring, and writing grants. I thank them for their patience with wild third graders and mothering kindergarteners. I thank them for being the teachers I look up to and always wanted to be. You are so special... to me... to your students... to your communities... thank you.