Wow, how fast a year swings by. Hope 2016 was good to you! It was full of personal development and challenge, but also great love and understanding.
As a recap, January of last year I got on a plane and landed in Nome, Alaska to teach reading to 7th and 8th graders at Nome-Beltz Jr/Sr High School. Super steep learning curve for me, but, heck, I thought, I can hack being on the hot seat for 5 months, right? Right! I did it! It WAS hot, but as with all things uncomfortable, I learned a ton. About myself. About Alaska and native culture (was especially blown away by some of my student's dancing). About teaching. About 13 thru 15 year old humans. About public speaking. About how much teachers dedicate their whole lives to teaching, not just the hours they are in the school building but also through their weekends, evenings and vacations.
One such teacher is Teriscovkya Smith, aka 'Smitty', writing teach extraordinaire. I've known her since high school, I consider my sister, and is the one who got me out to Nome. She told me about Nome Beltz's heavy need for a substitute teacher to step in for a teacher going on maternity leave. She housed me, drove me around, advised me, supported me, introduced me to The Walking Dead and backed me every day. What am I trying to say? Pretty much, if she hadn't been around, I would have not climbed that curve and would probably have been burned by the heat. Thank you, T!
Here she is in all her cuteness and me, well, forgive me, I was COLD! That's supposed to happen when you snowmobile for hours, right?
What was my favorite part with my students? The last two weeks of school and the art each student created for an assignment Teriscovkya designed for both her classes and mine during that time. My room was full of art supplies, left from past art classes, so I let my students experiment and come up with art pieces that illustrated what they wanted for their futures, along with writing from 'Smitty's' class about music.
Here are some of the results:
A street in Nome:
The 2016 Iditorod, which finishes in Nome:
And a little photo series I call "Reclining Nome Nude" which I did with fellow teacher, I mean, model, Susanne Thomas.
This one is "Reclining Nome Nude On Pallet"
"Reclining Nome Nude On Ice"
"Reclining Nome Nude On Log"