Categorized | Alaska

Some Thoughts on Alaska and Moving There

I have been doing a lot of research on teaching in Alaska, and even though I am a year away from moving anywhere to teach I am very interested in moving to Alaska. It seems there are three types of schools there. First of all, there are the big five districts. These seem to be rather large districts that would be very similar to something you would find almost anywhere in the lower 48. Next there are the road schools. These are smaller schools in smaller towns but are still connected by the road system in Alaska. Lastly, there is the bush. These are the smallest schools and are not accessible via roads. Instead they are only accessible by boat or plane, and I think this is where I want to move.

Living in the Alaskan bush seems like a fun adventure. The isolation and nature are huge points of interest. Living in a small village with natives would be so much fun. I am not sure it is where I want to retire, but I think I would really enjoy spending a year, or two, or three there. There is still a lot to do judging from a lot of the blogs of teachers I have seen.

I think this is the next journey for me and everything should be timed out quite well for me. I finish my teaching certification this November. And while it will take a few weeks after I am finished to get everything done through the state of Florida, it would be done in plenty of time before the hiring season for the 2015-2016 school year. There are three big job fairs each year it appears for the Alaska school districts in late March and early April. I want to attend the one in Anchorage which seems to be the biggest of the three. By this time I should be fully certified and I think with my experience living in a foreign country will help me not only land a job in the Alaska bush, but also help me adjust.

I have mentioned it to a few people and their first response seems to be, it’s really cold there. Well I’m here to tell you I like the cold. Now I have never experienced the cold that Alaska goes through each year, but I think I would handle it well. I love the snow, mountains, and nature, especially animals.

Of course, I am going to keep all my options open and perhaps I will find a job here in Texas or somewhere else that I can’t turn down. However, I am really going to keep an open mind and pursue a job in Alaska come early 2015.

Would you move to the Alaskan bush?

About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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2 Responses to “Some Thoughts on Alaska and Moving There”

  1. liz says:

    I’ve worked in the Alaska Bush, but have not lived there on a long term basis. The school is the main focus of the town. There is usually nothing there but a small general store and a post office. Be prepared for the darkness in the wintertime, the farther north you go the darker in the daytime it will be. Above the Arctic Circle you will have no daylight hours for an extended period of time. Hopefully you have indoor hobbies or enjoy being outside in the extreme cold. Some people love the Bush and some don’t make it past Thanksgiving.

  2. admin says:

    I don’t think I would have a problem. I love the outdoors and especially photography of the outdoors. Your last comment reminds me of South Korea where many people don’t make it long before taking off for back home. Thanks for the comment.

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