What do you think are the best parts of being a mentor teacher in the RiSE Program? The caliber of student and support from the university is of a high quality which impacts my program in a positive way. In my experience, students from RiSE come into my classroom prepared and expecting to be involved in planning, decision making, and other facets of teaching from the beginning. I've also appreciated the training that RiSE offers at the beginning of the year and throughout the school year. I am encouraged by and have enjoyed observing my past RiSE candidate grow during our time together.
What are some of your favorite things about teaching in a rural place? I appreciate the sense of community that extends into the classroom. This sense of community influences my daily interactions, approaches to problem solving, and conversations around how to best serve my students. The work is challenging but quite rewarding.
Teaching in a rural setting has unique challenges and opportunities. What are some of the challenges you've encountered as a rural teacher? Students and families struggle with things ranging from getting basic needs met to traumatic experiences. Ultimately, these manifest in some way in the classroom and frequently have adverse effects on the student. I try to meet the need using whatever resources I have around me.
What is your hope for your rural community? One of my goals for this year is to create quarterly opportunities for families, students, and the team of folks in the Learning Center to gather on an evening and explore the needs of these families, connect them with one another and resources that may be helpful for them.
What would you tell future educators who may be looking to teach in a rural setting? Accept and expect that you will wear many hats. Although part of my day revolves around supporting the academic needs of students and teachers, I spend time counseling students, consulting with general education teachers/administrators on the social and behavioral needs of students, and working with outside agencies in order to connect these resources with students and their families
August 31, 2021
Retiring teacher reflects on 33 years of rural education
December 28, 2020
Connecting Across the Cultures