Working in a small school threatened with closure creates a certain kind of teacher vulnerability. By analysing one teacher’s story, this article contributes to understanding how teachers cope with the external and internal challenges of teaching and leadership in small rural schools. Research about teachers’ work in a small village school in Finland, where about 100 schools have been closed each year, explores how discovery of and reflection on the solid moral base of being a teacher may contribute to and promote the teacher’s endurance during times of change. A teacher validates pedagogical thinking and practical knowledge into a contextual, temporal and moral interpretive framework. In doing so, a teacher evaluates the choice to remain in the same school for almost all their career and reveals reasons for staying—a topic that is of interest in research about retaining teachers in rural areas.