One of the challenges in rural education is location. Many educators in these geographically isolated areas may be the only person within an entire district teaching a specific subject, thereby limiting the options for differentiated professional learning and collaboration with colleagues teaching the same classes.
NEFEC Connect is a set of cross-district, regional learning communities created to support the facilitation of professional networking and innovative collaboration that is crucial to the support, growth, and ultimate retention of educators in small and rural districts. This series differs from many other professional learning opportunities in that teacher empowerment and teacher leadership are foundational ideas in these communities. “It is so nice to attend professional learning that I choose and that is created to truly meet my needs. I am being treated like the professional that I am,” shared one educator on a recent NEFEC Connect evaluation.