Giving Compass' Take:
- There is a critical need for teachers to support students, especially ones that need preparation for post-secondary education in rural areas.
- How can donors best support rural teachers and address shortages?
- Read more about the severity of rural teacher recruitment.
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The need for rural teachers, especially those who can prepare students for post-secondary education, is dire. Some teachers who fit that bill are driving long distances to help them, reports Nichole Dobo of The Hechinger Report, which reports exclusively on innovation and inequality in education.
"Rural students tend to do well in elementary school, but something changes as they get older," Dobo writes. "These students are still less likely than their suburban and urban peers to successfully continue their education after high school . . . they need to prepare their students to thrive in an economy that demands more than a high school education."
Traveling teachers like Robert Mitchell can help prepare students for careers. Debo caught up with Mitchell, who started making the four-hour drive to Campo, Colorado (home to 103 residents and 46 K-12 students), once a week for the past five years. "In Campo, where it seems like everyone in the school takes on multiple jobs, Mitchell fit right in, helping with college applications and talking to students about their futures," Dobo reports.
Recruitment for any teaching position is difficult for Campo schools. "One applicant from Boston dropped out of consideration for a job after the superintendent explained that a car, not a bike, would be needed to survive, as the closest Walmart is about an hour away," Nikki Johnson, the Campo superintendent, told Debo.
Read the full article about rural schools' teacher shortages by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.