I am a Rural Teacher

A project of the Rural Schools Collaborative to connect, highlight, and empower voices in rural education

A network where teachers from across the country can come to share ideas, stories, and best practices unique to their rural education perspective.

The "I am a Rural Teacher!" project supports:

  1. Teacher-to-Teacher Conversation.
    Any rural educator can join the public Facebook group called “I am a Rural Teacher!” This group is for teacher-to-teacher networking, discussion, and fellowship. Teachers can share photos, stories, curriculum, and teaching experiences, and seek support from other rural teachers across the country. This group connects, empowers, and fosters stakeholdership amongst the rural education community.
  2. Building a Rural Teacher Narrative
    "I am a Rural Teacher!" highlights and empowers rural teachers by sharing their stories with the greater rural education community. The connective power of storytelling allows teachers to share experiences with a wide audience of stakeholders, including institutions of higher education, school administrators, rural advocates, families, and the public.
  3. Rural Teacher Recruitment Efforts.
    The Rural Schools Collaborative is developing mission-driven teacher recruitment strategies with an emphasis on social justice and inclusive community development.

Meet rural teachers and read their stories, below:

Rebecca Washington

Ms. Washington is a music teacher in rural southern Illinois. Her dedication has allowed the school music program to grow exponentially.

Dr. Nathan Hamblin

"There is a distinctiveness – richness – to the rural setting. As rural educator, when you make that connection, you are family."

Lara Strong

"I hope my students can understand the culture of the language they are learning, and learn how our ancestries are from all over the world."

Hannah Bryant

“I loved the curiosity of the kids...I loved being able to teach kids to discover new things. That was my inspiration to become a teacher."

Dr. Mykie Nash

“That’s the thing about rural schools, you have high need, but you also have people rooted in the community that want to support the kids,”

Jami McConnell

“I think that’s my favorite memory, just getting to be a part of these kids’ lives.”

Albert Bryant

When Albert Bryant found out he would be returning to his hometown as the high school math teacher, he knew he would see familiar faces.

McKenzie Moreland

“Growing up I used to play teacher all the time,” Moreland says. “I used to make my own handouts and make my brother fill them out."

Kelly Wardle

Being an educator is much more than a job to Kelly Wardle. Her students inspire her, make her laugh, challenge her, and give her purpose.

Ashlee Burger

Burger is a perfect example of what the OTC aims to achieve: a student who returns to give back to the community that raised her.