Target Teacher on the Trail ™ Program

Hi Boys and Girls,

Can you believe that the start of the Iditarod is only a month away.  Are you getting ready to follow the race?  Have you picked a musher to follow yet?  I bet your teachers are working hard to get things ready for you to learn about and follow the race.

Talking about teachers, did you know that there is a special program for teachers called the Target Teacher on the Trail Program ™?  This program offers teachers a unique opportunity for a once in a lifetime adventure.  One teacher is selected every year to spend 3 ½ weeks in Alaska doing presentations, visiting schools, and flying in a small plane up and down the Iditarod trail following the teams from Anchorage to Nome.  During the time these teachers are the TOTT ™ they prepare lessons and they report from the trail.  I bet your teachers use some of the lessons developed by the TOTT’s ™.

So, how does a teacher become a TOTT ™?  There is an application they have to fill out.  I looked over the application and it’s the biggest homework assignment I’ve ever seen! Some teachers say that it takes months to put together all the information needed to complete the application.  All the applications are due by Dec. 1 of each year.  Once all the applications are received, the selection committee goes over each one and together they decide on 3 finalists.  Those finalists then go to Alaska the week before the start of the race.  They do a presentation at the Iditarod Teachers Workshop, have an interview with the selection committee, complete an assignment/project, go to the banquet and to the start and restart of the race.  They get to meet many of the mushers and give lots of ear scratches and belly rubs to the canine athletes.  When the race is over, the selection committee will select the next TOTT ™ from the 3 finalists.  What a wonderful experience for these 3 teachers.

I was very lucky to do email interviews with all 3 of this years finalists.  I will be doing a post for each one.  They told me about special goals they have set in the past and some for the future.  I love goal setting stories!  I hope you enjoy their stories and that it helps you set some new goals for the future.

Do you know of a special teacher that would make a good TOTT ™?  If so, please encourage him/her to apply.  Maybe next year, I’ll be writing about your teacher.

See you out on the trail,


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