Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

The Pedagogy of a Rural Educator

A Day in the Life of a Rural Educator

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After my first post, I thought it might be beneficial for me to introduce myself in more of a professional sense, as I will be writing about professional topics. So, here is a day in my life!

I always try to get to school early (before 7:30), in order to get ready for my day. Its nice to be able to make sure all my copies are done, material is planned, and I’ve got fresh coffee! Additionally, I tell students that this is a good time to contact me, as many of them have after-school activities.

My district has 8 periods in a day. I start out the day with my first section of Chemistry. I teach two sections, one with 7 students and one with 22. They are un-even because of scheduling conflicts, but that isn’t really a problem. After my students do their bell work, we dig into our day! After that, I have very little “down-time”. I continue with the sophomore class for biology second period, and two sections of physical science with the freshmen for third and fourth periods.

At this time, its about 11:40, and I get lunch! Because of the size of a small school, we don’t have multiple lunch periods or a very long lunch. All the students make it through the line and eat in about 20 minutes. Therefore, lunch is 22 minutes. If you have never eaten an entire meal in 22 minutes, you are not alone, I don’t know that I ever have either! Although it is short, I enjoy my time talking to other staff members.

After lunch, I have juniors for advanced biology (anatomy), my other section of chemistry with juniors and seniors, my prep hour, and finally environmental science. So, throughout the course of the day I teach 7 periods, 5 different subjects, and 4 different grade levels. I guess I can never say my day is boring!!!

Once the bell rings at 3:33 PM, I’m about shot. However, after another dose of caffeine (usually in the form of Mountain Dew), I’m ready for my after-school activities. In the fall, I coach volleyball. So, right after school I change into my work-out clothes and make my way to the gym to prepare for practice at 4:00. Practice goes until about 6 PM. On game nights, I have to be at the gym or bus by 4:30 or 5, and then get home sometime after 9:00. In the winter, I coach cheerleading! Again, I have after-school practices, and about 2 games a week. In the spring, I get a break!

As all teachers know, there are always committees to serve on, fundraisers to help out with, and other things that fall onto your plate. This all gets done in there sometime!

I hope you have enjoyed reading more about how I spend my days as a rural teacher. I know all the educators out there will say that there is really no such thing as a typical day when working with students. Some days are more challenging than others, but our job is to work through those days and grow as professionals and people.

So, to all the other rural educators, what would you call a “typical” day in your world? To educators in setting unlike mine, what would you say is different about your “typical” day?


Author: sdsuemko

I'm a high school science teacher in a small Minnesota town who loves the world of rural education. I am constantly striving to learn more about my craft and share what I find with others!

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