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Welcome & Introductions

Hello everyone!

Stephanie and I are eagerly excited to come to Bethel!  We are looking forward to a terrific weekend with you, exploring American history through music and dance.

A bit about me:

I was born and raised in Anchorage where I've taught for 11 of my 14 years in the classroom.  (My other 3 years were in Seattle.)  My current teaching assignment is Birchwood ABC - we have 40% military families and a strong emphasis on core curriculum and citizenship. When I'm not teaching music to elementary-age students, I love to travel, read and be with my family.  My favorite era of history is the 20th Century - the musical/societal connections are terrific!

With our class time so limited, let's get to know each other via our ning, at first. Please introduce yourself to me and your classmates.  What is your favorite era of history? Also, could you include what drew to you teach in a rural area and a challenge or two that you face in your current teaching assignment.  (No guarantees we can solve those challenges, but it might be helpful to have lots of folks brainstorming and sharing ideas.)

Thanks so much!

See you soon!


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  • Hello all, my name is Michael Wier, this is my 5th year teaching in Kwigillingok, where I teach 7-12 social studies and 9-12 Language Arts. My route to rural AK comes by way of western NY, specifically Olean, Ithaca, and Buffalo. I was drawn to this area because of the opportunity to teach, and do so in a meaningful way where students and teachers are more to each other than numbers.

    The most challenging part of teaching for me is the range of language proficiencies and the need for language development in my school- how to teach everybody something while not going over the heads of some or boring others.

    My favorite era of history is the 6th party system of the US... not just because its the only one I have been alive for, but because it is making the world such a small and interconnected place. Outside of the classroom I do my best to stay up to date on news and technology, eat my wife's cooking, play fetch with my dogs, and play some guitar and bass if I ever get the time.

  • My name is Tammy Schneidler, and I teach at Akiuk, in Kasigluk. This is my 10th year at Akiuk (I'm so proud!), and I've taught quite a variety of things over the years, but mostly junior high reading/writing type classes. This year I've become the literature and comp teacher for grades 7-12, and I'm loving it.

    My favorite part of history is when I understand a period/event through stories. I've always connected best with history through literature - because literature holds my attention, and learning the historical context helps give it meaning. I feel like I have a long ways to go to be a *good* (engaging) history teacher, this year I'm getting to teach American Lit to HSers, and so we're reading literature and learning history at the same time. It's wonderful! I'm eager to get ideas for how to incorporate period music (+dance?!) into my class.

    My main challenge is that I am too slow! I need to go fast enough through the material so that we make it to contemporary literature by the end.

  • I am excited to take this class again! I participated in it last summer.

    I teach 3rd and 4th grade in Napakiak, Alaska.

    My challenges I face are having making some of my lessons child friendly. The material is somewhat difficult for them read so I do a lot of read alouds and study guides and have them draw pictures. I have used some movement, but would like to continue doing this.

    My favorite part of history currently has been learning Alaska's history. It is what I am currently teaching and I have been able to learn something new almost daily. I also like the Jazz Era mainly because of the music.

  • Hi. I'm Stephanie. This will be my first time in Bethel and the farthest west I've ever traveled in Alaska. I'm so excited.

    I came to Alaska when I was 3, growing up in Fairbanks and moving to Anchorage as an adult. I've been teaching for 17 years, mostly at charter schools or in alternative programs. Currently I'm the grant coordinator for the ANUAH program (Teaching American History) where I'm lucky enough to be involved in some awesome classes and to work with some terrific teachers (like Elizabeth).  The grant ends this year, so I'm not sure what the future holds, but am excitedly awaiting the new challenges.

    My favorite part of history is Tudor and Stuart England, although with this class I've become involved in historical clothing and dancing trends through time, which I find especially fascinating. When I was back in the classroom, one of my challenges was trying to supplement the social studies curriculum with interesting things (like mummifying chickens and carrying out Egyptian funerals) and still finding time to cover everything the curriculum required.

    I look forward to learning about all of you and meeting you soon.


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