ERIC Number: ED369589
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Induction in Rural and Small School Districts.
Lemke, June Canty
The literature shows clearly that rural administrators find it extremely difficult to locate and hire qualified teachers who fit in with the school and community and will stay in the job. The "ideal" rural teacher is certified to teach more than one subject or grade level, can teach students with a wide range of abilities in the same classroom, is prepared to supervise extracurricular activities, and can adjust to the community. One successful recruitment strategy involves stressing the benefits of working in rural and small schools, such as small class size, personal relationships with students, individualized instruction, greater student and parent participation, and greater teacher impact on decision making. Most rural teachers were raised close to where they now teach. Various "grow-your-own" strategies focus on offering incentives to local potential teachers to assist them in obtaining the needed education and training. For example, Future Teachers of America clubs encourage students to consider returning to their home communities once they have received their credentials. Teacher induction in rural and small schools poses particular problems as the new teacher must become acquainted with the community as well as the school. Strategies for successful teacher induction include carefully selected initial assignments, clear goals and feedback, an encouraging and nonthreatening environment, and opportunities to interact with experienced colleagues and parents. Collegial mentoring arrangements, separate from teacher evaluation, can be crucial in helping new teachers through the induction period. Various strategies for retaining qualified rural teachers are listed. (Contains 13 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Montgomery, Diane, Ed. Rural Partnerships: Working Together. Proceedings of the Annual National Conference of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (14th, Austin, Texas, March 23-26, 1994); see RC 019 557.