Monday, August 24, 2009

Settling into EEK

Well, it's been a long time my friends and I apologize for that. It was truly a great summer at home in Maryland. Lot's of traveling during the month of June. Bonaroo, then up to Maine for some fun and recreation with some Alaska friends as well as some reconnecting with old friends up there. A little bit of fishing, great 4th of July celebration, and lots of driving around in my Nissan Versa. There was still lots of time spent with family, although they would probably argue that it wasn't enough. All in all, it was a great vacation.
Now it is back to Alaska, to settle into a new village, explore new terrain, teach new classes, get to know new students and staff, and continue the adventure. So far it has been pretty wonderful. My students are still upper elementary and middle school students, but they do show a huge amount of respect for teachers and staff. I am currently teaching "middle school", which includes some 4th graders, 5th, 6th, and even some 7th graders. It is a widely differentiated class, especially with Math and Reading. My overall schedule is pretty sweet. 8:45 am starts out with High School P.E. class, then U.S. history, Math, Reading, and finally lunch. After lunch is Science, then my prep, and lastly middle school P.E. All my students are having a great time playing soccer right now, although they are eagerly anticipating me starting a basketball unit. That I will try to hold off until March.
I've also started coaching X-country. Actually, they haven't had an active team in over 7 years, so I"m kind of starting the program back up again from scratch. None of the students on the team have ever run x-country before, so it's been a slow start, literally and figuratively. Today the high schoolers ran 4 miles and the middle schoolers 3 miles. They are definitely showing a lot of progress and seem to tolerate my authoritarian coaching style, if you can believe that. I hope to have an inter squad meet in a couple of weeks with just EEK students competing against each other. I also want to travel to Bethel with a couple of students if our minuscule budget will allow it.
I have tried the local waters for fish as well. I rode up river about 45 minutes with a family that works for the school. It was a fun, but chilly boat ride. We didn't catch any fish, but we had a wonderful dinner on the beach and to top it off, we came dangerously close to running out of gas. I think we are going to try heading up river again next weekend, so I will keep you posted.
I think that is it for now. Stay tuned for more exciting news from EEK. New posts will follow more regularly now that I'm back to work.
Thanks for reading,
Dirk and Katja

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