North to Alaska

It’s been a little while since the last NatesUpdates, and today’s is a bombshell.

I was just offered a teaching position in an Alaskan village waaaaayyyy out in the bush.

Obviously, I want to talk about what this means in regard to my role in Northfield, but first, here’s the update about what led up to this dramatic change.

About a year and a half ago, after serving in the High School as substitute, I realized that what people have been telling me for a long time is true:  that I am a natural teacher.  So I entered the Vermont Teacher Apprenticeship Program at Champlain College and interned as a student teacher under my mentor, Rich Kendrick.  The program wrapped up in March and I began to apply for positions.

It turns out, competition for teaching jobs in Vermont is pretty high.  As a newbie to the profession, I realized right away that my prospects were very limited in Vermont.  In fact, among my 24 colleagues in the TAP program, only one has landed a full-time position.  I expanded my search, interviewing for positions as far away as Arizona — even Bahrain.  The comfort I took in applying for positions far away is the fact that Northfield is my permanent home.  I’m not selling my house or changing my permanent residence.

This is where I’ll be:

Atmautluak 2002

Atmautlak is the home of 350 Yupik Eskimo Americans.  It’s just a flight away from — well, almost everything.  But I’ll only have a very short walk away from an awesome little school with a lot of great technology, fast internet, and a very passionate basketball team.  (Basketball is big in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.)  I’ll be arriving in Atmautlak on or around August 1st — so I have four weeks to make arrangements.

So I’ve been weighing what I need to do regarding my role on the Selectboard.  Legally, I can remain on the Board and attend meetings via teleconference or Skype.  But morally, my head isn’t going to be in the game when I’m 4,500 miles away, especially as a 1st year teacher.  I’ll think about what to do for another week or two — but realistically, I think we all know which choice I should make.

On July 11th, I’ll make my formal announcement at the Selectboard meeting.  I hope to see you there.

— Nate







3 thoughts on “North to Alaska”

  1. Congratulations on your new job Nate!
    All the best in this next adventure in your life. Thanks for all the service and community-building you have done here in Northfield.
    David Ward


  2. don’t even think about anything except this amazing rare and wild adventure. we wish you the most wonderful and enriching year in …the yukon!?!? yikes! bring your full spectrum lightbulbs. happy for you, nate –
    mary & fred


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: