10 April 2020

The Smalls

In my previous job, we worked to build PLCs among our smallest districts. Some of the ones we worked with had two teachers and 25 students, such as the one referenced below (full list of tweets from this date here):

https://twitter.com/science_goddess/status/322033005059268608

I loved this work. I loved seeing what "school" looks like in all different places and situations. Most of the places we visited had a post office and a bar. This one had a convenience store with its restaurant, which was a big deal.

This little district had a K - 2 classroom and a 3 - 5 classroom. Their only kindergartner had arrived the previous month and spoke no English. The sole paraeducator in the district was working with the student to get them going. The teacher of the 3 - 5 classroom was also the bus driver. Her brother taught high school social studies in a nearby district (one with about 80 K - 12 students) and served as superintendent for this district. They had grown up in this little wide spot in the road and attended the school as children. Like a lot of the small schools we visited, long-term residents were the custodians of the school. Some even had a third-generation superintendent...one who would farm the fields most of the time and head into school as needed.

I miss these smalls. I miss the ones that are still using their one-room schoolhouses from 100+ years ago. I miss the teachers...one of whom started as a bus driver in her little district and is now the superintendent. I miss their dedication and passion and resilience. I hope that they are weathering the COVID-19 storm in good stead, as are their students. Maybe I can go visit again one day.

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