Why teach in a rural community?
It is our job as educators to develop our students into informed citizens. There are many ways one can do that, and I think one of the best ways you can is by realizing what your place has to offer. Teaching in a rural area should inspire educators to find the assets of the town and get their students excited about what they can do to make a difference in it.
In order to enforce these positive ideas in the classroom, teachers can focus on the structure of place-based education. It is important to highlight the economy, culture, and ecology of the community in the classroom to know how it affects the students’ lives and how they can give back to their community. So why not form a bond between your students and assets outside of the school?
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Don’t be afraid to teach beyond the textbook! Why not take your students to the local nursing home to let them practice reading or math skills with a resident? Why not invite community members into your classroom to let students learn about the different roles people have in their town? Why not take your students to a nature preserve to appreciate the natural beauty your rural place has to offer?
Making connections with people and places within your community will impact your students’ lives by preparing them to be a civic leader in their rural community.
Ashley Farris, Flanagan