Sidney Freeman, Livingston, Alabama: Young Educators' Advisory Council

August 8, 2022 |
Sidney Freeman

Sidney Freeman, Secondary Science Teacher
University Charter School in Livingston, AL

I am from Livingston, Alabama, home of the University of West Alabama. I have a deep passion and love for my hometown and region. I chose to teach here because I believe this is where my work will have the greatest impact. I know that the love and support I pour into my students will come back to my community ten-fold.

Sumter County is a very unique place with an interesting past. The school that I teachin is a place-based school. We are able to provide so many wonderful opportunities for our students to learn about their place and be engaged members of the community. I love that our students are becoming more and more involved and are having their voices heard.

Relationships with students in a rural setting is key. Building meaningful and impactful relationships with and among students is so important because of the small setting. Everyone begins to feel like a family and then they start treating each other as family. This builds character and leadership skills and would not be as feasible in a larger setting where the time you spend together is limited.

Joining the Young Educators' Advisory Council excites me because, as a rural teacher, I have seen first hand the struggles that are faced in those first years. I would love the opportunity to give input that would then help future educators in rural settings. My first year was a challenge but I developed several strategies for overcoming struggles. I also would love the opportunity to brainstorm with other teachers and provide support where needed.

The Young Educators' Advisory Council is an initiative for early career rural teachers. These young educators will serve RSC as advisors to strengthen our mission in the recruitment, preparation, and retention of rural teachers. YEA council members will serve for two years engaging in online conversations.

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