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Debbie Chalmers

Sixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
Alyeska Central School, Juneau, Alaska


Debbie Chalmers

Debbie Chalmers
I have taught school in New England, Mexico, the Yupik villages of southwestern Alaska, and, since 1985, in Juneau. I have a deep appreciation for Alaska's rich cultural traditions and diversity, and I am committed, as a teacher, to share these riches with my students. I serve on the Alaska State Writing Consortium, the Alaska State Literacy Association and the Alaska Geographic Alliance. Since participating in the 1992 Alaska Geographic Alliance summer institute, my interest in geography education has grown. Each year since then I've attended annual institutes sponsored by the Alaska Geographic Alliance and the National Geographic Society. This includes the 1996 National Geographic Society Geography Awareness Week leadership institute, the 1997 Canada Studies Summer Institute, the 1998 Oregon Geographic Summer Institute, and the 1999 AGA Geography and Technology institute.

I also enjoy time with my family. Juneau offers us the chance to take part in year-round outdoor activities. I enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing, biking, hiking, boating and kayaking with my husband and our three children, and home remodeling projects keep me very busy.

I currently teach middle school social studies and language arts at Alyeska Central School, Alaska's statewide public correspondence school for students in grades K-12. Although physically located in Juneau AK, "school" for our students spans the far-flung rural regions of Alaska as well as the urban centers. An important aspect of my job as a distance delivery teacher is to provide home school students with quality interactive learning experiences in a meaningful context. Much of my teaching has shifted toward communicating electronically through E-mail and on-line courses. My students and I regularly participate in month-long, on-line virtual field learning experiences, and collaborate on multimedia projects and on-line discussions. I'm looking forward to joining the Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced, and plan to develop an on-line course site based on the expedition. This course will involve students and teachers in an interactive virtual field expedition.

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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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