I am a Rural Teacher

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

The "I am a Rural Teacher!" Project provides a network where teachers from across the country can come to share ideas, stories, and best practices unique to their rural education perspective.

"I am a Rural Teacher!" also is a storytelling network: we work to share the strong, positive voices of rural teacher-leaders through strategic media, storytelling, and social marketing.

Currently, the "I am a Rural Teacher!" project provides:

  1. An engaging place for 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 among rural educators. Teachers can share photos, stories, curriculum, and teaching experiences, and seek advice and support from other rural teachers across the country. This group connects, empowers, and fosters a sense of pride, ownership, and leadership amongst the rural education community. Finally, the group provides a positive space for the rural educator narrative.
  2. Storytelling and sharing services
    The Rural Schools Collaborative's "I am a Rural Teacher!" project highlights and empowers rural teachers by sharing their stories with the greater rural education community. The connective power of storytelling allows teachers to meet professionals with shared experiences, and projects the rural educator voice to a wide audience of stakeholders, including institutions of higher education, school administrators, rural education advocates, parents, families, and the general public.
  3. Rural teacher recruitment efforts.
    The Rural Schools Collaborative is developing mission-driven teacher recruitment strategies in rural areas that emphasize social justice and rural poverty as areas of action.

Meet rural teachers and read their stories, below:

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.