Moving from Kuwait

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.

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Moving from Kuwait

Postby lardas » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:19 am

I am an American currently living in Kuwait. I miss trees, rain, all kinds of nature, and since my son lives on the West Coast I am thinking Alaska would be a good fit. I am a nontraditional special education teacher who has been to Alaska before and loved it. I am looking at Annette Island but am thinking Juneau or anywhere in the south might be fun. Ideally I would like a learning coach position as I am really tired of the classroom. However, I would keep the classroom if it meant being able to use a kayak and hike on a regular basis. Any suggestions would be most welcome!
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Location: Kuwait

Re: Moving from Kuwait

Postby Johncn » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:06 am

Hi,

Welcome to the ATP Forum. Anywhere in Southeast has access to kayaking and hiking. The key is going to be finding the kind of classroom environment you want: regular schools like anywhere else (Juneau, Sitka), traditionally organized schools on a small scale (hub cities larger towns), or multigrade classrooms (logging camps, remote schools).

Annette Island is beautiful, has strong Tsimshian traditional folkways, and is the only "Indian reservation" community in Alaska. Although I am not sure exactly what a nontraditional special education teacher is looking for, they do have three schools. Not sure how their SpEd staff is divided up, but for perspective, the high school there has about 86 or so kids in grades 9-12, and so by finding out the number of other teachers on staff, you'll get an idea of how they probably organize for instruction. It's too large to be a "multigrade" setup, though. I'm guessing it's more traditional, and uses distinct grade levels. And although I'm sure they have a continuum of services in place, I have no clue on whether they do primarily pull out / resource room service delivery, or "push in" , co-teaching and supported inclusive instruction and so on. The only way to know would be to talk to the district or the principal.

You can research the approximate size of Alaska schools by district or town, and make some educated guesses, using the Alaska EED "Rolodex" database. Here is Annette Island's listing as an example:

https://education.alaska.gov/DOE_Rolode ... strictId=6

The Statewide Mentor program hires "teacher coaches", I guess, for supporting teachers new to Alaska. But, it's quite unlikely they would hire someone who doesn't have rural Alaska experience for such a role.

Hope this helps,

John
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Re: Moving from Kuwait

Postby lardas » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:57 am

Thanks. You have given me a lot to think about.

Nikki
lardas
 
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Location: Kuwait

Re: Moving from Kuwait

Postby marymatt718 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:08 pm

Hello Nikki,

I know I am a staunch advocate for Togiak, and I have written you on that thread, but I am addressing your needs now on this post as well. I did mention Sand Point to you before, in the Aleutians, and it bears a mention here for others as well.

I have friends at Sand Point, in AEISD, and they LOVE it there. They have sent photos and it is a truly gorgeous place. It is on an island so you are surrounded by both mountains and the sea...not a lot of trees. It is on the Alaska Marine Highway system which means you can get to it on the ferry...after enjoying some spectacular scenery along the way. They take their dog, Margo, hiking all over the place there and can because THERE ARE NO MAJOR PREDATORS, so no wolves and no bears. I like to take my dogs out with me, but I have to be careful here because we do have to be predator-safe and aware here in Togiak. I don't go out very far onto the tundra with them because I have to be careful not to surprise anything out hunting for food. That is not something my friends have to worry about...just something to consider if an opening comes up at Sand Point.

Good luck on your search.
Donna M. (marymatt718)
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Re: Moving from Kuwait

Postby lardas » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:44 pm

First - in reviewing my license from Georgia, it turns out I am certified in middle school English and Social Sciences in regular ed, middle school. I am also certified P-5 regular ed as well. I have been in Sped so long I never bothered to look. I am just putting this out there in case anyone needs Social Studies teachers.
2) A DS9 story - when the show premiered I was living in northern New England, in a town on the Canadian border teaching kids without cable or Sesame Street. In order to get DS 9 I had to hire an antenna guy. The antenna had to be rigged every week so I could watch DS9, but the connection was spotty and every week was a gamble to see if it would work at all. People thought I was crazy to even try it. I know you have written about how you hoped I was watching the show as it aired, which I did. It cost me hundreds of dollars and it was so very worth it. Live long and prosper.

Nikki
lardas
 
Posts: 13
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Location: Kuwait

Re: Moving from Kuwait

Postby marymatt718 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:54 am

There is a Social Studies job open right now in Sand Point, which is a location I think you would LOVE. The principal there is AWESOME. The superintendent is rather brusque, but okay. Go for it! Do your application and email the district directly. They are very responsive.

All I had to do for DS9 was get cable...too many trees for an antenna. I had a crush on Avery Brooks and one of my favorite episodes was the one in which he got caught in a time warp of some kind and Tony Todd ( a great, but underappreciated actor) played his son Jake as an adult. That one tugged on my heartstrings.
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Re: Moving from Kuwait

Postby lardas » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:07 am

I am applying for the Sand Point job today. The more I communicate with you, the more sure I am about a bush job. My friends here agree as well. ST tidbit, my son is named after Georgi LaForge but has the Ben Sisco haircut - at least he used to before he went bald at 28 and now has that cut by default. You are the best.

Nikki
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Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:08 am
Location: Kuwait


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