Here is some additional background for the choices you see:
- Instructional Materials: Some of the smaller districts in our state are using math texts from the 1960's (or have no math curriculum at all) because they can't afford to update. Science labs are woefully outfitted (microscopes are older than math books). Assuming you have computers for students to access, software options are limited. There are schools in this state running Windows Millennium. Are current instructional materials the most critical item for student learning?
- Technological Hardware: Do you have a projector, document camera, and/or whiteboard in your room? Do students have frequent and regular access to computers/mobile devices? Most classrooms in the state have at least one computer, a document camera, and projector. Is this enough?
- Common Curriculum Map and Assessments: Most small districts do not have the capacity to develop common planning and assessment tools. Not only do teachers have multiple preps each day (and for multiple age groups), but the small student populations mean that sharing the planning or co-teaching is not possible. If someone handed you a roadmap that you could count on to free up your time for other pieces of instruction, would you want that?
- Instructional Coach: Your opportunities for professional development in a small district are significantly reduced. Your principal might be the instructional leader for the school, but chances are that your principal is also the superintendent, another teacher, or has a host of other duties. What if you had someone designated to support you in the form of an instructional coach---help with planning, provide additional resources, engage in reflective conversations?
- Outside PD (conferences, workshops...): Do you think you're going to be able to connect with peers at various conferences and workshops? Where will you find a sub? What about all the travel and registration costs? If conferences and workshops are critical to keeping you current with instructional strategies and other components of student learning, you'll have a sad in a small district.
Use the poll below to cast your vote: