Teaching english on the moon: a memoir of teaching at a rural school

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


Montana is a primarily rural state. The majority of Montana's high schools are 'Class C' schools with enrollments under 107 students. Of these, over sixty Montana high schools have enrollments under sixty students. In these schools, high school academic departments normally consist of one person. This experience is rarely examined. Even existing literature that focuses on rural education focus on settings with higher enrollments than many of Montana's smaller schools. Drawing on the author's personal experience of teaching at high school with an enrollment of around 25 students, this memoir provides an account and guide for working in these settings. Through this, the author details the benefits of teaching in these settings, such as smaller class sizes that allow for more one-on-one interaction. It also examines the challenges of coming and teaching in rural places, including the stresses of prepping for seven different classes and difficulties of integrating into rural communities. Given the number of these schools in the state of Montana, many graduates from the Montana University System's education programs will go on to teach in these settings. This work aims to advocate for rural settings and to give teachers that may go into these areas an idea of what to expect.




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