Iditarod 101

Rest stop on the puppy walk

First day of summer camp for teachers, and there were lots of firsts for us. First puppy walk, first ride behind a 16 dog team, first day of dog chores. We learned the basics of the Iditarod from Vern Halter, and Bob, who plans to run the 2011 race, told us about the race from a rookie’s viewpoint.  From Vern and Bob, I got some great quotes about the dogs which we can take to the classroom. “Form good habits early, you’ll do well” and  “Everything you do in the environment gets them ready to move forward” (Vern). Bob, explaining training the dogs to run long, steep hills, said,  “After the run to the top of the hill, a little further on, stop, rest, snack them, and praise them.” It struck me that “resting, ‘snacking’, and praising” our students after struggling with the hard work or skill they’re learning would go a long way to encourage them to continue for the long haul throughout their year. Forming good habits and preparing the students’ environment are two more things for teachers to keep in mind in getting students down their trail to the finish, their learning goals.

Beautiful day in Alaska! Sunny, warm, 22 hours of daylight! Start making plans now to come next summer!