August 17, 2013

Newtok Ayaprun School

I have officially made it through my first week of school! 
4 days actually, so almost a week.. I'm still counting it though!

My first week went great. I met all three of my classes:

>>6th grade Math and Writing
>>Jr. High Reading
>>5th Grade Math, Reading, and Writing

My work day is from 8-4... Classes don't start until 9.
And every Friday is an early dismissal at lunch for all the students... genius!

High school and Jr. High start class at 8:45 - during this time, Grant, the principal, gives the elementary students a morning message.  This is such a neat thing to be in a dual language school, because the morning message is always in Yupik.  So although I have no idea what the message is... it is amazing to still see their native language being spoken and incorporated everyday at school since half of their day is spoken in Yupik.
I have 6th grade in the morning and 5th grade in the afternoon - when they are not with me, they are taught Social Studies and Science in Yupik! (sometimes my students will try to teach me words in Yupik.. I just don't know if I cant trust them yet!)

Newtok has been great so far, and being involved with the school makes it that much more exciting.  The school is a big part of the community.  It hosts a ton of after school programs and open gyms. Did I mention how big basketball was?! Even right now as I am sitting here on a Saturday afternoon, I can hear the thump, thump of basketballs in the gym. 

Newtok Ayaprun School, K-12:

 The front of the school. We literally live 30 seconds from the school.
 This hallway is looking toward the upper hall: high school and jr. high classrooms.
 The door to my first classroom! It used to be the computer lab, so a lot of hard work went into making it look like an actual classroom.  
 I have eight 6th graders in the morning and thirteen 5th graders in the afternoon in this classroom.
 Had to be creative in ways to find storage space!
 Word Walls are very important in this school.  I have a word wall for English words and they have a Yupik word wall in their Yupik classroom. Side note: the Yupik language only has 18 letters.. interesting, I know!
 Basketball is such a big thing here that part of my behavioral plan is the opportunity to gain open gym points for good behavior, attendance, and participation.  If they do not get enough points at the end of the week, they will not get to go to open gym that week.

 I wanted to show these signs to show the mascot of Newtok: The Jaeger! It is a type of seabird that harasses smaller birds to steal their food. See pic below to see an actual Jaeger: 

These are a few pictures of Newtok's gym.  This is Saturday ball with some of my students.  Note: Joshua is the referee for today's Saturday game. 

Just wanted to show you guys where Joshua and I spend most of our time! If it is not school hours, we are usually here using their internet (since we don't have it at home), working in my classroom, playing basketball/volleyball with the other teachers, taking showers, or getting water to haul back to our place.  We are lucky to have this place!


  1. This place looks like such a neat place, and I know you guys fit right in there. We miss you .........LOVE YA! Gma and Gpa Hall and Sandi, too.

  2. Hi Emily, it is your cousin, Darlene (Mrs. Weir). I am so enjoying reading your blogs. As I read this one about the school, I realize it definitely adds new meaning to "living at school." I used to think I lived at school putting in so many hours, but I realize that you and Josh spend so much time there (well beyond that) working and achieving the many things we take for granted.
    Wishing you the best,