Reflective Essay: Community And Community Connections

The theme that stood out to me this week was that of community and community connections. In this commentary I will first I will talk about the hindrances that face teachers that are not native to small town communities. I will also address the problems of partnering with colleges and universities while being in a rural setting. Last I will address the idea of sharing personal histories helping student connect to each other through their similarities and differences.
This week’s topic of community connections has been a difficult one for me. Growing up I never had roots to one place. I moved all over the state of Iowa never living anywhere more than five years, and never in an ‘urban’ area. As a teaching professional I have only lived in this community for three years, and as in most small Iowa towns to have any influence to do anything including in the school system, you have to be one of three types of people. One, born in the community and move back as a professional. Two, your grandparents were from the community and still live here, or three, you are married with kids and have made friends with an influential native of the community. Without one of these three factors, there is little chance of getting any community by in to have elders of the community come and share the stories of
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Living in western Iowa the closest college or university with an art department is over an hour drive away making partnering with them very difficult. There must be someway of connecting with the colleges and universities to make them see the benefits to traveling 50 to 75 miles away to gain some experience, and help enhance the learning of my students. It is hard to conceive why they would travel so far when there are schools closer that they could partner

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