The purpose of the Rural School Initiative is to develop a network of P-16 educators and community stakeholders to work together to address common issues.
A major theme is to elevate teaching as a profession and provide support for current and future teachers.
Elevate the teaching profession and inspire people to join the profession.
Provide P-16 opportunities to rethink education and teacher preparation
Work with local partners to align teacher supply to create streamlined pathways into the teaching profession.
Develop robust teacher mentorship and induction programs.
Work together to identify and seek funding to support local initiatives with local resources.
"I am a senior at Eastern Illinois University, finishing my last semester and preparing for student teaching in the fall. Teaching in a rural community is important to me because it allows teachers flexibility to include the community in their learning and to use their own ideas to enhance the existing curriculum. Being a rural teacher also allows the opportunity to build relationships with students and their families by being involved in community events, sponsoring clubs, or coaching sports. #IAMARURALTEACHER"Devanne Lawson
"As a child, school was something I looked forward to every day. I was excited to see my friends and learn in the classroom. Growing up in a small, rural town, I personally knew each one of my elementary school teachers, my classmates, and everyone in the school. The environment was so welcoming that it felt as though we were one big family. Now, as I am quickly approaching my time to be a teacher, I want to teach in a rural community where I know each student and their family and ensure that they have the same experience as I did as a student.”Alicia Buerster