A School Visit With the Glacier Bears


Beautiful student-created art in Mrs. Russell’s classroom

I took a trip to Palmer, Alaska today to visit the 4th grade students of Sherrod Elementary School.  It has been a long-standing tradition for the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ to visit veteran teacher, Mrs. Russell, who is an advocate of using the Iditarod theme in her classroom.  The Glacier Bears were a great audience for my presentation, and we had a wonderful time together sharing musher stories from the trail.  


A feast for the eyes at Sherrod

I focused my presentation on what it really takes for a musher to make it to the starting line in Willow.  I showcased many of the videos mushers have created for me in past posts here: raising puppies with Matt Failor, naming a kennel with Mary Helwig, musher commands with Larry Daugherty, and sled making with Cody Strathe. Of course, the students had many questions for me about Texas, and we had a fun experience comparing our two cultures.


A grizzly in relief form

Walking the halls of Sherrod, I was amazed at the incredible artwork adorning the walls.  Native art, respectfully recreated by children, hung around corners, a 3-D bear was suspended, with a protruding snout, from the library ceiling, and a mechanized Alaskan nature scene connected the entrance to the classrooms.  With a push of a button, a sleeping bear was lit up from above, and a pulley system saved a salmon from hungry bears.

More school visits await me tomorrow, and the Jr. Iditarod will be coming up next this weekend.  I am excited to continue to share my journey with schools in Alaska, and I am sharing my experience with students everywhere through my Skype club.  Join me!


Follow my journey this year as 2016 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™. We have partnered with Skype as a virtual field trip experience, and I will be sending recorded video messages daily along the trail to classrooms around the world.  Sign up for a free Skype account first, and then join the “Iditarod Classroom Club” to follow along.  Remember, you must have a Skype account first, or you only be in my club for 24 hours as a guest!  Click the link below:

Iditarod Classroom Club


Want to know more about other 2016 Iditarod mushers and their teams?  The name says it all.  The ULTIMATE INSIDER ultimate-school-300x300 gives a school access to everything!  All of the benefits of the INSIDER VIDEO combined with the ability to “Track the Pack” with the GPS INSIDER!  Access to all of the commercial-free video.  Spotlight up to 5 of your favorite mushers and receive email alerts when they enter and leave a checkpoint.


  • GPS Tracker
  • Commercial-Free access to all video content
  • Highlight 5 Mushers with email alerts