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Teacher Continuing Education funded by the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF)

Updated: Dec 18, 2020


See Stories was awarded the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) to lead a spring 2021 virtual teacher professional development course titled COVID-19 Podcasting & Digital Storytelling: Culturally Responsive and Social Emotional Best Practices. The course is designed for teachers of 6th - 12th grade Alaska Native and Newcomer (immigrant and refugee) students, and participating educators will receive support in engaging students with social emotional learning (SEL) through sharing COVID stories via podcasting and digital storytelling. There is no cost associate with taking this class.


One of the best things about this free course for participating teachers is the team who will serve as instructors and guest instructors. Alaskan teachers / librarians of 6th - 12th grade Alaska Native / Newcomer students who would like to apply to participate in this virtual, 3 credit professional development course can do so at this link. Please note that this makes most Alaskan middle school and high school teachers eligible, as our classrooms are as a diverse as our beautifully diverse communities.


Alice Qannik Glenn, founder of the acclaimed Coffee and Quaq podcast, will engage teachers in the art of podcasting, from choosing a story to conducting interviews, and from editing to thinking about audience and distribution. As an Iñupiaq podcaster, Alice will bring her sensitivity to Alaska Native cultures and stories to the process.


Marie Acemah, founder / Director of See Stories, will facilitate the overall course, and engage teachers in the art of digital storytelling. Marie has 15+ years of teaching and teacher professional development experience, from Kodiak to Kaktovik, and from Ohio to Uganda. She has an MA from Columbia University Teachers College in International Educational Development and a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Santa Fe.


Rafael Bitanga, founder of Bitanga Productions, will serve as course TA, and will use his experience with digital storytelling and documentary filmmaking to support the digital storytelling process. Rafael's experience as a 1.5 generation Filipinx immigrant will help educators with their best practices around culturally responsive, social emotional learning. He has won many awards, most recently a 2020 congressional gold medal.


Dr. Daren Graves is an Adjunct Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and serves as Associate Professor of Social Work at Simmons University. He will lead a session on analyzing power dynamics and fostering equitable change through story, podcast, and digital storytelling. He will focus particularly on the systemic inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ann McKay Bryson served in the Anchorage School District for over 30 years, working as a classroom and Special Education teacher, and as a professional development leader. For the past nine years, Ann has been an SEL consultant for CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning). Ann will support participating educators with a variety of social emotional learning best practices, and identify ways that storytelling can enhance positive identity development for students and teachers alike.


Alberta Demantle has taught for 25 years in Akiak, in the Yupiit School District. As a Yup'ik Athabascan educator raised in Bethel, her focus is celebrating the history and beauty of Alaska Native People. Alberta will help ground the course in Alaska Native values, perspectives, and provide participating educators with practical tips in how to meaningfully engage rural communities, tribal council leaders, and students. She also recently learned documentary film, so can support educators with digital storytelling.


Dr. Emily Price serves as Adjunct Instructor on Social Emotional Learning at the University of Colorado, and Director of Education at the Alternative Community Resource Program. She will integrate pedagogies of play that teachers can implement with middle and high school students to help them approach the challenges of COVID in creative ways. She will also unpack the idea of "play as activism."

Alaskan teachers of 6th - 12th grade Alaska Native / Newcomer students who would like to apply to participate in this virtual, 3 credit professional development course can learn more and do so at this link. We look forward to hearing from you!

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