Elevate and Celebrate Effective Teachers and Teaching
ECET2 Interior Alaska – October 19-20, 2018
Isolation is one of the biggest challenges that teachers in Alaska face. Especially in rural areas, there might be only one teacher per subject or multiple grade levels in one school, face-to-face interaction with a colleague is prohibited by significant distances between schools, and burnout and turnover of teachers is high which effects the local levels of knowledge and teaching expertise.
To provide support for teachers from rural districts in the Interior Region, and with the support of funds from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a small group of dedicated teachers from Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (FNSBSD) and Denali Borough School District organized the first ECET2 Interior Alaska convening to Elevate and Celebrate Effective Teachers and Teaching. The ECET2 movement started in 2012 and is spreading across the country to create teacher collaborative networks, increase collective social capital and expertise of teachers, develop teacher voice and advocacy, and promote teacher leadership.
A total of 35 teachers from Fairbanks North Star Borough, Denali Borough, Nenana City, Yukon Flats, Yukon-Koyukuk, Copper River, and Alaska Gateway school districts gathered for two days of celebrations of the teaching profession and collaboration on problems of their practice. Their time was divided between keynotes who shared their calling to become a teacher, colleague circles to design options for problems in teaching practice and breakout sessions topics of which ranges from SEL to technology integration.
By the end of the convening, teachers from districts in the interior had new friends and collaborative groups of colleagues to celebrate their successes, share their challenges and were able to leave with a feeling that they are not alone in what they are doing and can proudly say that they are in teaching profession.