Supporting teachers doing the work…
Because not everyone teaching in a rural school has access to a rural professional learning community or rural-focused professional development.
As an English teacher in my rural Indiana school, I was a member of a department of four. We were all early-career teachers and most of us taught entire grade levels. For example, I was the only sophomore English teacher (as well as the only AP Lit teacher and the only Advanced Comp teacher). This meant that I had every student during the year they were to take the standardized test that would determine whether or not they could graduate. Talk about pressure!
Despite the immense pressure, I had no connections to other rural English teachers in this situation – no one to talk to about practice or if I was trying to work out a lesson to address a specific standard. I had no one to reflect with, to critically examine curriculum with.
That’s why I created this website and this space. It is my hope that the resources provided here and the online rural teaching community that comes together through them can help support one another in our growth as rural English teachers.
The demands of teaching often make it difficult to find time to look for texts that can help us grow in our teaching. I’ve put together a list of texts and some of my own publications that will save you some time and help you get started!
Having time to reflect on and develop new approaches in our teaching can also be challenging. Here, you can find videos that have teaching ideas that likely connect to the work you’re already asking students to do.
Want to include place-based and/or rural perspectives in your reading or writing unit? Or do you want to begin considering the impact of place with your fellow teachers? I do class visits and professional development! Let me know how I can help!