‘Local Author Seeks ‘I’m Sorry Story’ Read Alouds with Alaskan Teachers & Classes’ by Melody McAllister

Last February my first children’s story, the I’m Sorry Story was released by EduMatch Publishing. It’s a story that follows a young man, Ryan, and his journey of discovering how to take responsibility for his actions and making things right with others when he’s wrong. I wrote it my fifth year of teaching fifth grade while pregnant with my oldest child, who is now 11. When I first wrote this story, it was to create conversation around the importance of a sincere apology without lecturing my students.  Continue reading ‘Local Author Seeks ‘I’m Sorry Story’ Read Alouds with Alaskan Teachers & Classes’ by Melody McAllister

‘The Importance of an Origin Story for our School’s Community’ by Arctic Light Elementary Principal Thad Keener

Arctic Light Elementary School is a K-8 public school in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. It is unique in that it is the only public school located on the Fort Wainwright Army U.S. Base. The school mascot is the Arctic Fox.

This year we are sharing our school mascot’s origin story. Arty the Arctic Fox is our mascot and, “Do Good Work, Be a Friend, Every Day” is our motto. With our students we have expanded these words and we were ready for this book to extend the learning. Continue reading ‘The Importance of an Origin Story for our School’s Community’ by Arctic Light Elementary Principal Thad Keener

‘Find Your Fire: Supporting Youth Mental Health in the Community’ by Melissa McCormick

Find Your Fire‘ is a local nonprofit in Juneau, Alaska that serves youth and the community through direct actions that address mental health. ‘Fire Your Fire’s’ aim is to help lead young adults and teens to find their “fire” (aka what they are passionate about) by supporting life skills, job opportunities, and mental health resources as they transition into adulthood. Their services have included presentations about digital addiction and mental health, and the effects of vaping. Its latest lawn sign campaign has become a notable support to young and old alike in and around Juneau, especially during the global pandemic. 

Students at Juneau-Douglas High School / YADAA.AT KALÉ hold up Find Your Fire yard signs.

Growing up, we were taught to be kind to others. Through our childhood experiences, we begin to learn what that means. We don’t steal a friend’s lunch, hurt another’s feelings, or bully another kid on the playground. As we transition into adolescence, we begin to focus on what makes us individuals, what attributes we possess, and what defines us. This, largely is what our society is telling us. We see it in the media, in our technology, even in the expectations that our parents, teachers, and mentors provide us. By the time we reach adulthood, we often begin to get caught up in the staying busy, working hard mentality. We strive to succeed in so many areas – our education, our relationships, our professions, our parenting, the list goes on. Life is tough. There are marriages, kids, divorce, family disagreements, mortgages, bankruptcies, health concerns, and so many stressors that we begin to feel impatient with ourselves – and often with others. Continue reading ‘Find Your Fire: Supporting Youth Mental Health in the Community’ by Melissa McCormick

‘Alaska’s 2020 AASSP Principal of the Year: Robyn Taylor’ by Seanna O’Sullivan at ACSA

 

“Be resilient, be responsive, and find what works.” – Robyn Taylor

Principal Robyn Taylor’s last semester started with a very broken foot in traction, a pandemic that turned school upside down while she was homebound, and a transition to homeschooling her 17-year-old daughter. So when she got the phone call that she was named Principal othe Year by the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals, she had to tell her wide-eyed daughter that the tears in her eyes were happy tears of gratitude. As a self-proclaimed optimist, Principal Taylor lives every day finding and shining light on the positive things even in this time of extreme upheavals. Continue reading ‘Alaska’s 2020 AASSP Principal of the Year: Robyn Taylor’ by Seanna O’Sullivan at ACSA

‘AASSP Regional Principals of The Year 2020 – Part 2’ by Seanna O’Sullivan at ACSA

The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) sponsors regional and statewide Principal of The Year recognition awards to honor the educational leaders who play such a pivotal role in student success. They may be nominated by anyone – students, staff, parents, district office staff or principal peers – with awards finalized by AASSP members in their region.

Continue reading ‘AASSP Regional Principals of The Year 2020 – Part 2’ by Seanna O’Sullivan at ACSA

‘AASSP Regional Principals of The Year 2020 – Part 1’ by Seanna O’Sullivan at ACSA

The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) sponsors regional and statewide Principal of The Year recognition awards to honor the educational leaders who play such a pivotal role in student success. They may be nominated by anyone – students, staff, parents, district office staff or principal peers – with awards finalized by AASSP members in their region.

Continue reading ‘AASSP Regional Principals of The Year 2020 – Part 1’ by Seanna O’Sullivan at ACSA

‘End of Year Celebrations in the Denali Borough School District’ by Principal Jeni Mason

Through new territories of learning and teaching, we must remember to celebrate all successes, even the little ones. Each community, parents and district’s staff, and students deserve an applause, gratitude, and appreciation, as well as a great big virtual hug. I’ve often said to colleagues (and I have been reminded by many) that the second semester just flies by. This year, with no exception, second semester flew by. This flight had a much different pattern, nonetheless, the end of the school year was still here in a flash.

Continue reading ‘End of Year Celebrations in the Denali Borough School District’ by Principal Jeni Mason

‘A New Google Educators Group for Alaska’ by Chelsea Hurst at YKSD

Growing up, I played team sports. Through this experience, I learned that a team is only successful if all of the athletes are willing to work together toward a common goal. As I transitioned into a classroom teacher, I approached my profession with the same attitude. I loved to bounce ideas off of coworkers, share successes, failures and seek help when needed. I knew that in order to become a better teacher, I had to work with my colleagues toward a common goal: the success of our students.  Continue reading ‘A New Google Educators Group for Alaska’ by Chelsea Hurst at YKSD

‘The Power of Public Speaking’ by Laura Davies in Wrangell

At the beginning of each school year, I inform fifth-grade students that by the end of the year, they will all write a persuasive speech and say it aloud to their friends and family. Most students are already aware of this ten-year tradition, but many still give me a look of shock and disbelief. During the year, students work on speaking in front of their peers during daily student-run morning meetings and throughout the day when they share their ideas, knowledge, and questions with their peers. Using a microphone they learn to stand up, speak aloud to their peers, and over time develop confidence with this skill.

Students have numerous opportunities throughout the school year, like this Mystery Skype session, to practice public speaking skills and gain confidence in their public speaking abilities.

Continue reading ‘The Power of Public Speaking’ by Laura Davies in Wrangell