When you are a change-agent, looking for new ways to solve old problems, you are sometimes described as “shaking things up.” For many of us, our goal is to “shake up” the system and develop novel approaches to reach our students! Well, in light of recent events in Southcentral Alaska, there is a whole lotta shakin’ going on! As an elementary PE teacher, I was grateful that our students were not yet at school when Friday morning’s destructive earthquake began to take its toll. However, many of my middle and high school colleagues were in active classrooms, and immediately sprang into action to protect students as their gyms and classrooms shook violently. It is in these moments of crisis when we discover who we are, how well we’ve prepared, and of what we are capable. I am so proud of these amazing educators, taking swift and selfless action to ensure the safe return of every one of their students.

We hope that you returned to a safe and stable home, and that life is slowly regaining a sense of normalcy, in spite of the unrelenting, unsettling aftershocks. Please know that we at SHAPE Alaska seek to support our community of health & physical educators as we return to school in the coming days and weeks. Many of us have not yet been able to return to our classrooms and gyms to assess the damage. Some of us may face a new reality, with a loss of equipment or a relocation from our teaching spaces. SHAPE Alaska aims to facilitate communication within our community of educators in an effort to offer assistance, suggestions, and support as we get back to the work of teaching young learners to be healthy, active participants in life.

If you are a Facebook user, be sure to “like” the SHAPE Alaska page, where you can take part in discussions with colleagues about all aspects of health and physical education. The SHAPE Alaska website will offer strategies and best practices via our Tips and Tales section, as well as keeping you updated via this blog space.

As you head back to your classrooms, gymnasiums, and coaching spaces, know that you are making a difference! Our students need us. They are counting on us even more right now to provide consistency, maintain a safe space for learning and play, and offer patience and understanding during this shaky moment in time. Let’s get back to it, and let’s support each other along the journey!