Martha Dobson of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina is a lifelong North Carolinian, a sixth grade middle school teacher and the second North Carolina teacher to hold the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail position. Living all around North Carolina while growing up, she has resided in her small town near Charlotte, NC for 27 years with her husband, Allen, and three children, Robert, 25, Elizabeth, 22, and Sara, 18. Allen is a family physician. Robert and Elizabeth graduated college in the past year, and Sara begins her college career in the fall. A longtime Girl Scout , Martha has volunteered with her daughters’ troops since 1993 and worked as a freelance writer for a local newspaper.
A graduate of Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, Martha holds a bachelor of arts in psychology and a teaching certificate in elementary and middle grades education with concentrations in language arts and social studies. She enjoys horseback riding, being outdoors, travel, and reading. Her family has numerous cats and a rescued Siberian husky named Morgan.
Martha returned to the classroom at Mount Pleasant Middle School eight years ago to teach English/language arts. Immediately, she was drawn to the Iditarod by her prophetic choice of a Gary Paulsen novel to teach her students. In 2005, she traveled to the Iditarod race start to be an Idita-Rider in Phil Morgan’s sled, sure that she’d never have a chance to return to The Last Frontier. That experience was the “coolest thing” she’s ever done, she says, and the Iditarod bug bit her, hard. Now she’s been to four race starts, four Iditarod teachers’ conferences, and enjoyed a summer vacation.
Martha says that the Iditarod appeals to her sense of adventure and her appreciation of the unique and challenging event. Her students are intrigued by its uniqueness, too, and Martha has incorporated Iditarod in her classroom and school through lessons not only for her English classes, but classes in other grade levels and subject areas, including math, science, and technology.
As well as being a highly motivating teaching tool, Martha says the Iditarod and her efforts to become the Target® 2011 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ set the example of taking advantage of opportunities in life and perseverance. “I believe that you work hard, and get what you work hard for,” she says. Never dreaming that teaching would get her to Alaska, Martha believes it’s important for everyone to “go for it” in life, whatever their dream or opportunity might be.
Join Martha in her dream, crossing Alaska from Anchorage to Nome, bringing it to classrooms around the world through her lessons and messages posted here.
Target® is the official sponsor for Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.™ Please visit their website and learn about their dedication to education and communities. Discover information about grants and how Target® helps children, families, schools, and communities to be more successful.