PBS Digital Innovator 2017

Traci Espeland

Traci Espeland Alaska
  • Alaska Public Media
  • South Anchorage High School
  • Anchorage, Alaska

English is Traci’s passion: English rhetoric to be specific. She teaches her units with an emphasis on the power of language and shows her students how to harness that power.  Although writing practice and modeling are important, Traci also incorporates audio and visual examples to help her students understand tone, inflection, pacing, and other essential elements of language.  Her classroom is also kinetic: students in Traci’s English classroom are rarely seated. She builds her curriculum around the student - immersing them in a given topic and working on it from every possible angle. “Movement encourages retention and understanding,” she says. “In the rare case they do have to sit, I offer fidget cubes for them to use.”

Fun Fact: Traci was born and raised in Alaska—the state with the lowest percentage of residents who were born there and are still living there.