Last week, I was in Naknek, Alaska at the teacher in-service training at Bristol Bay School. All teachers from the Lake and Peninsula School District and the Bristol Bay Borough School District attended sessions about online systems, the Common Core State Standards, and best practices in teaching. These trainings are inevitably jam-packed and tiring, but I walked away with lots of new ideas and many answered questions. In addition, I was able to meet and talk with many new friends in the district and explore a new area in Alaska. I would say the week was an overall success!
The plane ride from Newhalen to King Salmon was only about a half-hour long. We flew out on a beautiful sunny afternoon which made for an extremely smooth ride! Unlike the first time I flew in a bush plane, I was smart and took dramamine beforehand. No motion sickness for me!
We drove from King Salmon to Naknek after that and settled in at the school. As you can see, our bedrooms were the classrooms at Bristol Bay School. The district gave us air mattresses to use which were actually pretty comfortable. The only downside to the provided amenities were the showers. I have two words: locker room. I’ll refrain from telling you how many times I showered in the five days I was there!
The in-service was busy and filled with classes. During the day, we trained, and during mealtimes, we ate. Boy, did we eat! The district did a great job of feeding us and made sure we never went hungry.
After all that eating, I was happy to participate in a 5K run! Every year at the in-service, there is a memorial run for Candice Berner, the teacher from our district who was killed by wolves in 2010.
It was fun visiting another little town in Alaska that not many people get to see. The population of Naknek is about 550 (according to Wikipedia) and is inhabited mainly by fishermen (and fisherwomen). Bristol Bay is one of the most popular salmon fishing centers for both commercial fishing and sport fishing in Alaska.
Even in a little place like Naknek, there was a local watering hole. Our playlist of choice was “80’s dance hits.” And the rest was history.
On our last morning at the training, we awoke to a most awesome sunrise. There are no words for a sight like this.
I’m so glad that our district provides teachers the opportunity to gather and collaborate. It was great to be able to meet new teachers and explore a new place in the great state of Alaska.