You could say my school is low-income, rural, and somewhat multicultural. If you want to translate that into real-world terms, you could say that my students might be just as culturally deprived as low-income urban students, with the added deficit of being located too far from any cities to learn from museums, centers, or performances, especially with budgets being as they are, so buses for field trips are basically gone.
This isolation creates an unusual problem when student teachers come into the classroom, because plain practicality makes it difficult to interface with the student teacher’s teaching professor, who typically has the onerous assignment of traveling all over the state to rural schools with student teachers from his or her university.
At the same time, I felt that my written feedback about the student teacher didn’t particularly help anyone–the professor, the student teacher, or me. Distance, I think, did indeed keep us distant.
Fortunately, I’m a longtime teacher who realizes that student teachers are still students and if we are lucky, we can open up to them and help them improve and they can open up and learn from us.
It’s not always easy to do this, of course, because people have their styles and personalities. I know in my case, my student teacher was super-independent and self-assured, a real Millennial, so I was never sure whether my intended help was any help at all.
Perhaps I was the same when I was a student teacher :).
Nonetheless, we rural classroom teachers are more on our own, I think, than our urban counterparts. I know that my principal hardly ever intervened in the process. It’s all something to keep in mind when we rural-ites take on a student teacher.