Posted by: gmelvin | May 6, 2010

Gettin’ Ready To Leave This…

So much to do…so much to review….it’s amazing what a small, remote village thousands of miles away can do to your life. Shipping is not cheap. While books can travel via media rate, other materials such as small cookware, lights, blankets, fishing gear, classroom items, and other stuff are very expensive.  Media mail is a special service the USPS offers for book only material, as long as they carry no significant advertisements. Else, shipping can easily cost $200 – $300.

I just bought several totes, but am now thinking I might do better through regular boxing. I’ll be buying most clothing in Anchorage. BSSD has a Welcome Wagon week for newbie teachers, such as myself. During that week, we will stay for several days in the University of Alaska dorms while shopping around the city for food and other living items. Meanwhile, we will also meet other new teachers in the same situation as I am.

My roommate’s name is Barnabas Wong. I’ve been e-mailing him back and forth, and found out he will be a school counselor itinerant for my village and two others. With a week at each village, he will be flying around our district managing crisis situations.

Brevig Mission is a village of 300, with a school population of 100. I will have all academic levels, totaling around 15 students. In addition, BSSD does NOT have grade levels nor regular A’s and B’s. Instead, they judge each student purely on their academic level in 9 core subject areas. It is called the Quality Schools Model, or QSM. It is quite interesting. For those interested in teaching bush Alaska, a number of districts employ this same model. For newbie teachers, look at this weblink:

http://wiki.bssd.org/index.php/Stuff_for_new_hires_about_the_model

I’m going to try and post some pictures of the village later next week. Hopefully, this will turn out alright. As of right now, I’m in a hurry.

Greg Melvin

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