Baby Steps to Alaska

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

Moderators: Johncn, Betty Walters, Toni McFadden, Damon Hargraves

Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby kazachka » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:00 pm

Gosh I can completely relate. When I moved to Fairbanks, I was 21 and just out of college. I scraped up enough in the summer between graduating and being hired to ship my stuff and get myself there, and put a deposit on an apartment. I was teaching English to Latino migrant workers that summer and racing commercially before I moved. My parents loaned me 2k to ship my car. My mom somehow managed to find the world's cheapest ever one way ticket from Chicago for....get this.....318$! That really saved me. I showed up with a couple suitcases and the clothes on my back to get me by til my stuff started arriving to the teacher's lounge! It took me a while to get on my feet. I stayed with the Spanish teacher the first 2 weeks until my apartment was ready. This saved me too as I was able to get some income before I had to pay rent. The other teachers were really supportive and helpful and knew I had just moved on FIVE DAYS NOTICE! Fast forward 19 years and I now get to repeat the process. Moving internationally is the pits. It's expensive and the logistics are also "entertaining". I moved to Moscow in stages as well dropping stuff off over the course of about 18 months. I'm flying to Anchorage on the free (well I paid 200$ to upgrade to good seats since I'll be flying for 2 days straight). I had a ton of miles on Delta I had been saving for when I REALLY needed them. RT going out now and back for another "stuff" run in December Moscow- Anchorage ....was 3000$+- :o Yeh time to use miles. Well yeah, it's less than 30 days' notice on the booking and it's high season, so a paid ticket was going to cost an arm,leg, and kidney!! 2000-2500 has always been the summertime norm as I did the AK-Moscow route for years esp in grad school. Vehicle purchase-yeah, that set me back some serious change too, but I need a reliable AWD SUV for the road to school. I have not owned a car since 2005, when I moved to Moscow. I just put down a deposit on a house about halfway between Homer and the school. I'm shipping most of my clothes and stuff now regular post and will use Mail Boxes Etc (yes we have them here) to professionally pack my medals and some of my trophies (going to have to do this in 2 stages now and in December or next summer because of moving expenses)from the past 10 years of racing. Those I will not pitch or ditch as many of them were from high level races I have done in Russia and in Europe. My World and European Championships ones go in my carry on- those can't ever be replaced and I'd not even want to ship them. But, yeh, definitely not a cheap move, but I knew sooner or later the day would come. I'm using part of an inheritance from my grandmother to make this happen though. I just set that money aside and earmarked it Bailout Fund not ever to be touched for any reason no matter how hard things got here and did they ever this past year as the Russian economy imploded and the ruble dropped about 50%. My school starts earlier too to accommodate many Old Believer church holidays we get during the year. I start Aug 3 which is a good thing as I was worrying I'd have to live on what's left or plastic to float me til my first paycheck closer to September.(Costco runs are never cheap) One thing I can say though, is there are so many helpful and friendly people in Alaska. I have long time friends in Anchorage who helped me find housing and said vehicle, offered an address to ship all these boxes to,etc. I've connected with a couple of people in the running community in Homer ready to hook me up with some decent trail running. :D I'd rather have the company esp during BEAR season......
BTW- I read a year or so back that Fairbanks now offers 5000$ for out of state relocation?! MAAAAN could I have used that back in the day! Even now that would make such a difference.
Nulato- the Spanish teacher I shared a classroom with my first year in Fairbanks had also just been hired that year out of Nulato where she'd been the principal for 7 years. She said the kids were great :) Good Luck! My letter of intent actually gave me 10 days to decide, but I wasn't going to leave them hanging and pretty much knew I wanted the job.
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby Planetwalker » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:25 am

Hiya peeps!

I've started a blog!! HAHA!

http://www.bushvillageteacher.wordpress.com

yep, that's me ;) Cheers
Changes come from the Power of Many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible. The Power of One. - Bryce Courtenay
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby Planetwalker » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:50 am

Hello again everyone! I kind of miss talking to you all, but I wanted to let you know that the babysteps to Alaska quickly turned into giant leaps very fast. I am now currently in Nulato, and our team plans to make this school the best school to work at in the YKSD. Go Wolves! For more info, feel free to check out my blog at: bushvillageteacher.wordpress.com
Changes come from the Power of Many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible. The Power of One. - Bryce Courtenay
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby Johncn » Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:39 am

Hi,

Congrats on your new position, and enjoy start up and all the richness of the early "fall" in the Bush. Nice blog that reflects your excitement over your big move, and some of your transitions. If you keep up the blogging and sharing of your adjustments, I'd imagine ATP will link to your site.

Regards,

John
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby Planetwalker » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:12 am

"Keeping Up With the Blog" is a good point. I have found many online that seem to stop halfway into it. Being so busy during this time, I have found that I am already a week behind :roll:

I also feel that if school districts in general want to really improve their teacher recruitment and retainment sitution, they should get us up to Alaska by June, so that we have time to work out all the transitional issues, AND work on our classroom, AND work on the school. Here in Nulato, the school itself could use some help with reorganizing. We were given a tip about instruments somewhere in the building, and sure enough, with some ladder climbing, we found 10 guitars and 4 violins. One of the guitars was hand made and in very good condition. I wonder what other treasures we could find. But alas, I have no time. Inservice requires me to return to Fairbanks tomorrow, and I only got here 3 days ago.

Also: FOOD! I was totally unprepared, and I'm BROKE. I took out an advance, but still have little due to costs of shipping. Getting up here and working full time cleaning up the school throughout June/July would have earned me the income needed to prepare for August chaos with district training. Now, I have to leave my husband here at the village while i return to hotel life. What will he eat? LOL HE WAS TAKEN OUT FISHING LAST NIGHT AND CAUGHT 2 LARGE SALMON! MMMMMMMMMMMM concerns sometime reveal wonderous things!
Changes come from the Power of Many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible. The Power of One. - Bryce Courtenay
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby tKoz » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:13 am

Hi Planet Walker! Congrats on your position. Are you there!? How is it going? Would love to hear updates! :D
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby Planetwalker » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:50 am

My blog is about 2 weeks behind :roll: BUT if you are interested in updates feel free to check out: http://www.bushvillageteacher.wordpress.com
Changes come from the Power of Many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible. The Power of One. - Bryce Courtenay
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Re: Baby Steps to Alaska

Postby kazachka » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:39 pm

Congrats!!! Nice blog too!
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