Thursday, August 2, 11:00-11:30, SUB Ballroom B, Theme: Partnership

Given deficit orientations of rurality, we feel urgency to disrupt these perceptions and explore opportunities for our pre-service teachers (PSTs) to work in and with rural schools/communities. This research investigates two iterations of rural practicum experiences in the mountain west, across two cohorts of secondary English majors: 12 in the first cohort and 5 in the second. Our research questions include: 1. How do PSTs experience community during a rural intensive experience? 2. How is pride made visible in schools and in the towns? 3. How do PSTs connect to said pride? 4. What were the differences between cohort 1 and cohort 2 in PSTs' experiences with community and pride in one's community during two iterations of rural practicum?

Our method is informed by narrative inquiry and qualitative research. Our data corpus consists of PSTs' before, during, and after narratives; reflection pieces; section one of the Teacher Work Sample (TWS); photographs from the rural practicum experience; and focal interviews. Findings from the first round of data collection indicate a level of pride in rural schools and the larger community, and three distinct categories of community (peer-to-peer pre-service teacher community, rural community, and collegial community). In the second round, we noted a shift in both school and community pride and the categories of community [both will be explored in this presentation]. Another finding also holds key significance for this work: Across both practicum iterations, PSTs' expressed increased desire to continue in rural environments for student teaching or early career employment.