Part of Rural Schools Collaborative’s dedication to place-based education is to connect local to global, and one way that we make that connection is through our new program, Rural Educators Across Borders, an extension of the I Am a Rural Teacher Campaign, funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
On October 14th, the RSC team had the great pleasure of hosting an online pilot event organized in partnership with the Welsh Government and Princess of Girona Foundation in Spain. The event was a smashing success, with nearly 50 participants representing educators from Uganda, Wales, Bhutan, US, and Spain. Everyone who made the event was fortunate enough to have been guided through the experience by Leslie Cook, of our partners at Teton Science Schools, whose excellence and expertise in place-based learning helped make the event a success.
Rural Schools Collaborative and partners hope to design a program that creates a digital platform to allow collaboration with and storytelling from rural educators across the world.
This pilot event served as a way to get feedback about future direction for the Rural Educators Across Borders program. Based on discussions by early career teachers in the United States and Wales, there are three primary topics to frame the Rural Educators Across Borders discussion: Resiliency, Pedagogy, and Teaching in Place.
The panel included:
Alan Williams of Wales
Catrin Thomas of Wales
Randi Rovetto of USA
Holly Pitts of USA
Lola Rubio of Spain
Each educator reflected back on their decision to go into the field of education and what their day-to-day routines looked like, which often included lengthy commutes plagued by tractors. They also spoke of bringing a sense of place and community into their everyday classroom lessons, a moving commonality amongst all panelists.
We invite you to view the panel discussion below:
Rural Educators Across Borders Event Recording
Hear from teachers across the globe - Panel conversation begins at 21:05!
To hear more from international rural educators, check out this article featuring the Princess of Girona Foundation’s Teacher Generation program. We would like to thank all who attended and shared their personal experience from rural areas across the world, and a special thanks to Mark Ford, Sarah Perdue, Ieuan Jones and Giulia Vidal who helped jumpstart this program.
Learn more about the early collaboration between US and Welsh rural teachers that sparked this new iteration with Rural Educators Across Borders, and check out this important Rural Research report from ERW in Wales.
Keep the conversation going by sharing your own rural teaching perspective here on the I Am A Rural Teacher website, or joining the I Am A Rural Teacher Facebook Group! We are looking forward to continuing to build out a digital platform for rural educators to connect, collaborate, and share stories.