Teaching and Learning in Tuluksak (dreaming dreams of being on the river and things being right)
As a classroom teacher in Tuluksak (2004-2009, 2016-17) , dealing with the complexities and variables that go into teaching and learning in rural Alaska can often be challenging, frustrating,...and at times daunting.
But, knowledge and communication can be powerful tools in the effort to make these variables and…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on August 9, 2017 at 4:22am — No Comments
The essay is from an essay called: All the Fish in the River: An Essay on Assessment.
"More than a quarter century of experiences in the classroom has taught me not to be too sure of where I am going, and that often the best way to measure learning won't occur to me until my students and I are in the midst of the learning itself. "I've come to think of myself as like a fishing guide on a wonderful wild river, where the current is swift and difficult to negotiate, into which I…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on January 17, 2017 at 5:04pm — No Comments
Here's to the Auntie's out there who were often, in loco parentis, and did a good job when called upon. Some are quiet, simple, and prepare good lunches. Others are loving, giving, and may take you to a circus. One Auntie I know will talk your ear off. Another is stern, wise, yet hospitable. One auntie, is a…
Added by Mark J Biberg on December 20, 2016 at 9:56am — No Comments
I am looking forward to the debate next week. Not so much in a political junkie sense (although I am one in many senses)
but rather with the hope the the time has come for the unmasking, the time when the curtain is drawn and the vampire is led to the light.
In short I hope the debate (s) provides the much needed forum that does not allow Trump to lie and evade, or if he does, the sane voter, the caring…
Added by Mark J Biberg on September 24, 2016 at 4:41pm — No Comments
Chapter 34: A lesson in Life (A Lesson from a Finnish Elder, a story in memory of Charles Gust Biberg 1905-1961)
By- Mark James Bib erg
Intro to the 2016 edition: Charles Gust Biberg (1905-196) was a patriarch of sorts, although that title may better befit his father, John Bib erg (1856-1933). But both were Finn landers and people of the land. They farmed and worked hard all of their lives. John and Lisa (Charles’ mom) were part of a generation of…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on January 31, 2016 at 10:36am — No Comments
The Process of Becoming a Teacher
By Mark J Biberg
It was a process that I went through…I did not just decide one day to become a teacher. When I was young, education was not stressed. There was an idea that I should do well in school, but beyond that my parents never encouraged me to embrace education as something that would take me places. (Biberg, 22)
But I will say my older siblings and aunties did read to me. I acquired a gift and…Continue
It seem so surreal back then- leaving Minnesota for what felt like the final time- On March 28th, 2001. I was leaving my hometown, Blackduck and staringt a trek to Alaska; a journey that I hoped would lead me to opportunities in education; opportunities that my hometown did not offer me.
I left Blackduck and my friends and family to look for something. That something was both concrete and abstract. I knew I wanted to teach. I had spent the better part of the last 6 year reading and…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on January 31, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments
The story of my teaching career, like the life of Black Beauty, is the tale of the people in it. On the brief essay I would like to review and reflect on my 15-year teaching career and to gauge whether it is time for a change of venue at the end of the year.
The genesis of my career as a teacher starts with the several learning communities that I belonged to a young student in Blackduck, Minnesota, (1975-1988), the Marines (1990-94) and my time at Bemidji State (1988-89. 1994-98). The…Continue
Sartre told us many times that we are all unique, at least in our sense of making choices and having a self awareness of being the agent of that behavior.
He also said that is we are going to become what we should become, or manifest our destiny, it will be through the means of ours choices.
Having goals is a choice and wiring them down and focusing on them can be a part of the process of making them real, making them manifest.
We tend to grow…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on November 27, 2015 at 9:49am — No Comments
On being afraid and acting out of fear
There has been a lot off knee jerk reactions to the questions of allowing refugees in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, Mali, etc. and this is one of this times where it may serve us well to take a step back, pause, read some history and then return to the conversation.
But a few things to think about:
1) We are a nation of immigrants; all of us, with exception of Native Americans, are…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on November 21, 2015 at 11:36am — No Comments
Alaska Natives Students and the FAPE Provision of The IDEA (Updated with thoughts for 2015-16)
This will be an update on the issue of FAPE; it will be a start of a ten part series, with the format being to take existing parts of the essay, of the theme and adding in some real time research, or just updates from the ground. (Biberg, 2015)…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on September 7, 2015 at 12:59pm — No Comments
Reading versus Cell Phone/ Game Time:
I want my sons and others I work with to read more and use technology less. I am asking them to be equally proficient in technology and in literacy.
Actually I am asking them to be more proficient in literacy and part of my challenge will be to convince them of a better balance between literacy skills and technology skills. (and I certainly believe in technology skills) (full disclosure that is based on my experience with…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on September 7, 2015 at 12:23pm — No Comments
When I was young I used to dream of coming to Alaska, not to teach but to pursue a Jack London like dream of getting away from it all. Alaska was very appealing to me in terms of its natural beauty, rugged mountains, and a place where a person could go and manifest them.
But life happened and as I grew up in Minnesota my dreams got pushed aside in favor of more practical things. When I went to college, the dream was revived, and as I studied history and philosophy, the call…Continue
Working With Dogs as an Approach to Counseling (Rough draft)
This will be a third part if my effort to define and expand my theoretical approach to counseling. Of course it will be based on my upbringing, my parents and siblings, but also my education, especially my study of history and philosophy. (American history and existentialism in particular).
But I am also working other activities into my approach, especially activities that are hands on and involve…Continue
We are studying WW1 in US History and are trying to take some of the lessons of the past. It has been 100 years since the Great War (1914-17, 17-18 for the US) and for many it could just as well be the Greeks and Romans.
However, much of our modern world, can be traced to the events that transpired during and after WW1, including the map of modern Europe, the seeds of communism is Russian, the roots of WW2, the basis for the modern Middle East, etc.
It is more…Continue
John Kustaa Biberg 1855-1933
by Mark J Biberg, Nikolai, Alaska
John Kustaa Biberg was born September 2, 1855 in Kortesjarvi, Finland. He was the son of Juha Kustaa Biberg who was born in 1824 and Lisa Greta who was born in 1821. John had six siblings; he was the forth child and first son. Lisa is from the region just to the south of Kortrsjarvi, called Alaharma. Both were not far from the western coast of Finland where the Baltic Sea water flow in the…Continue
Imitation: A Common Sense Approach
writing and edited (and imitated) by Mark J Biberg, Nikolai, Alaska
This article written by Andrew Pudewa asks the question “How do we learn to read to write or how to we learn to do anything?” This is a very relevant question in today’s world of high stakes testing and pressure on schools to teach children basic literary skills.
The teaching of writing has swung back and forth like a pendulum without any…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on October 11, 2014 at 12:18pm — No Comments
Becoming a learner
They conquered the continent with pen, paper, a musket, and powder- on Lewis and Clark
I support Malawa and think she is a great example for us to follow. If I or any of us had half of her courage we could do amazing things.
What do I want you to be; I want you to become a learner, a self sufficient, Independent learner. My job is to encourage you, set a good example for you model learning for you, ask you…Continue
Going to Fall Moose Camp in Nikolai, Alaska
By Mark Biberg and the students at The Top of the Kuskokwim School.
It was a warm fall day as we pushed off into the swift current. We were loaded with camping gear and hearty learners who were looking forward to experiencing fall moose camp.
The colors of the trees along the edge of the river made the view serene and relaxing. As the motor picked up speed and the boat surged up in the water, I sensed…Continue
Added by Mark J Biberg on September 20, 2014 at 1:29pm — No Comments
It has been over 10 years (March 28, 2001) since I left my hometown of Blackduck, Minnesota to come to Alaska to pursue my dream of teaching in Bush Alaska; but some of the most powerful lessons come to my quite early in my “Alaskan Teaching Odyssey.
After my first year of teaching in rural Alaska in 2001, I knew I had to add some things to my repertoire if I was going to stay. A friend recommended a class with Professor Ray Barnhardt in cross-cultural studies. I soon learned what a…Continue