We are asking how COVID-19 is impacting rural communities. Read below for a perspective from Marci Ostemeyer, a staff member of ESU 7 in Nebraska (based in Columbus, NE). You can share yours here: http://bit.ly/iaartcovid
The six members of the ESU 7 Professional Development team have been supporting the 1200 teachers and 65 principals in our service area in a variety of ways. Once the schools began closing, we offered our support to teachers and principals via Zoom meetings. Through those meetings we’ve been able to connect with multiple teachers from each of our districts to provide an opportunity for them to collaborate with each other, and to obtain resources from us. Our coordinators created two resources specifically to assist teachers and principals. First, our Technology Integration Coordinator created short YouTube videos, with playlists to assist teachers with navigating Zoom and other resources.
Additionally, all of the members of our department collaborated for a website dedicated to resources teachers can access at this time. This website has become one-stop-access for our teachers to find dates, times and connection information for our Zoom meetings, links to webinars being offered by experts in the field, as well as our Top 5 picks of resources for specific content areas. Our principal zoom meetings have resulted in sharing of ideas, support for each other, and identifying areas of need for our Coordinators to provide expertise and support.
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Rural Schools Collaborative looks back on seven years of sharing the stories of rural teachers via the I Am A Rural Teacher project, in their own words.