October Inservice

The third week of October was a short week of school throughout our district. Students and teachers attended on Monday, with a half-day on Tuesday.  Tuesday afternoon, all of the teachers were scheduled to fly out of their villages and to our district's "hub" in King Salmon. Mellisa and I were all set to fly out of the village on Tuesday, but, as with everything in the bush, the weather had other plans.  By lunchtime the winds were howling and our first mini-snowstorm of the season was happening.  I felt certain that we'd be stuck in the village overnight.  Imagine my surprise when I got a call from Lake Clark Air to tell me their pilot was only ten minutes away, which meant we had five to grab our bags and go.



The pilot picked us up and shuttled us to Port Heiden, another village about 70 miles away.  Our landing in Port Heiden was the roughest part of the trip - by far. We dipped sharply as we approached the runway, rocked by a strong wind, and then proceeded to fishtail our way down the runway, finally skidding to a halt not far from where the Port Heiden teachers were sitting and waiting.  Thankfully, the 45 minute flight to King Salmon was uneventful.


Once in King Salmon we headed to the Bristol Bay Borough School, which serves students in King Salmon and Naknek.  They are something of a sister-school district to us, so our inservice trainings were done together. Much unlike our last training, this one was held entirely at the school, which meant we were all sleeping on air mattresses in classrooms, eating in the cafeteria, and showering in the locker rooms.


During the day, our trainings focused on teaching multi-age classrooms, writer's workshops, peeks into successful classrooms throughout our district, and teaching self regulation techniques in schools. We also had sessions that were specifically for us to focus on updating our grading and intervention records.  At night, we could choose to just hang out and relax, or take advantage of one of the offerings the district had set up.  There were two college courses offered (mitten sewing and net hanging), a sip and paint session at the local pizza joint, and a 5k run.


I ended up taking the mitten sewing class because it was an opportunity to learn a unique cultural skill, while gaining a college credit through University of Alaska Fairbanks. The mitten sewing class took place from 5:30pm-9:30pm three days in a row.  My days were long and I was exhausted, but it was worth it to learn such a useful skill.



The other nights of inservice I tried to take advantage of socializing as much as possible because it is one aspect of life that is extremely limited out in Pilot Point. One night we stayed in and had a girls night, complete with face masks.  The other free night I went grocery shopping (King Salmon had VEGETABLES!) and then out to one of the local haunts with a group of the other teachers.



The week was long, but filled with useful information and the wonderful opportunity to create new friendships and socialize outside the bubble of Pilot Point. At then end of the week, I was more than ready to head home and sleep in a real bed, snuggled up with my husband and out dogs. It's funny how quickly we settle into new places. By Friday, I found myself thinking that I couldn't wait to be home - and home meant heading back to my little village.

Your turn...What do you miss about home when you're away?
Currently listening to...Wild Child - Brett Dennen

Comments

  1. WOW, your photos are very cool! I enjoyed getting a peek of what Alaska look like. I've always wanted to visit there. I've noted that I should go during the warmer months because it looks VERY cold and it's only November 1st! :-) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. July is a good time to visit...much lower chance of snow! ;)

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  2. I miss my bed when I am away, actually, and also my family and friends. Alaska looks beautiful (and snowy!) - thanks for the pictures.

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    1. I always miss my bed too! There's just something so nice about curling up in it after you've been away.

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  3. What a fantastic opportunity! When I'm away, I miss the simplicity of "normal"...being able to relax in a place I am familiar with. Of course, it is worth it to get out there and discover new experiences! :)

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  4. I love reading about your life. It's so interesting. I miss my bed when I'm away.

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  5. How interesting. I love hearing about life in other places. Love your photos too.

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    1. Thank you! I always enjoy hearing about life in other places too.

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  6. I loved the story about your in-service! Learning a new skill and the travel in Alaska amazes me. I hope to teach someday in Alaska. Would love to connect with you more and find out more about bush life. We are considering bush teaching down the road.

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    1. I'm definitely open for any questions you have! Just let me know! I really enjoy connecting with other educators.

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  7. Wow, that sounds like a really cool experience! Definitely not like inservice days down here in Canada and the Lower 48!

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