Theressa Smith, Middle School science teacher
Poison Spider School in Casper, WY
I currently live and teach in Casper, Wyoming. I student taught at the school I teach at. It's funny because I was really nervous about teaching at a rural school. I had attended larger schools so a rural school was outside my comfort zone. Needless to say, I absolutely love it!
Casper is a unique place in that we are considered a town but most of Wyoming is rural. My school is part of the larger Natrona county school district but my school is about 15 miles outside of town. Many of our students live outside of town. Our school participates in our annual track day and one of the events is roping!
Our students deserve the best! It doesn't matter if they live in a big city or out in the rural countryside. Teaching in a rural area is very rewarding. I work at a K-8 school and I love having my students in my classroom for 4 years. I get to know whole families and know students long before they come to my classroom.
I was on the YEA Council for the last two years and I'm excited to grow our YEA family. I always feel so energized and supported after our meetings. I love the work that we do and it's important! Being able to connect with other rural educators is just honestly the best part of YEA. Knowing that we are all on a similar journey and can support each other, without judgement, is such an incredible feeling. I get so excited knowing that our work is going to help others on this same journey and will hopefully inspire more to join us.
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.