Teaching in urban districts requires not only knowledgeable teachers but also those with the best skills. Urban schools require a lot of skills and experience for a teacher to deliver in them. They are situated in areas with a lot of issues than rural areas hence teaching in such schools is really demanding and would be challenging for someone who is not ready to overcome all the challenges. Focused on this scope is teacher residency in urban areas and issues that are related to this.
The schools in urban districts are faced with multiple challenges that range from cultural diversity, violence, multiple languages and poverty. Some of the experiences gained through teaching in urban district schools are that; one is able to understand the cultural behaviors of students from diverse ethnic groups (Beck, 2016). Handling challenges that are arising from cultural differences, languages and also a high population of students who require highly skilled teachers to control the learning of urban district schools.
Respect for the children and youths is one thing that is required from the teachers by the students. Students who believe that they can achieve a lot in school they need teachers who are dedicated to helping them gain their goals. Therefore, teachers have to be highly skilled in order to meet a successful relationship between then and the students. Challenges brought about by lack of respect between the teachers and the students may cause the great failure of the school performance. Teachers should be able to learn and understand the culture and type of homes in which the students come from. This will create a close relationship between them and the students and they will be able to help the student achieve their goals by creating a friendly relationship. Minority student will need teachers who will support or rather inspire them and who rapport with them (Vernikoff, 2018). Majority of these students will not need the teachers who can provide students with environments which are supportive in bolstering their confidence and therefore distant themselves with a teacher who has a high expectation of them. These challenges require skilled teachers who can take a step of talking to the parents about the students and coming up with a learning environment that will fit them.
However, it is not only the teachers who face these challenges in schools. Moreover, learners also experience a lot of setbacks or rather challenges as they undergo their learning process. In urban schools where challenges are extremely experienced, poverty is one of the problems faced by the students and some of them end up dropping out due to overwhelming and accumulating debts in schools. Once a student is involved in the challenge of paying school fees, they tend to look for alternative approaches to getting this money. Some of them even get to an extent of involving themselves with behaviors and characters that are risk hence hindering their learning. Besides, it is the best approach to visit the teaching staff and share with them the challenges of paying school fees if at all it happens to be a problem to clear the debts (Klein et al., 2016). Changing schools due to debts has seen many learners fail in their final exams and such decisions should be discouraged in schools. Such like challenges will enable a student to face and solve them once he or she is enrolled to a teacher. In this position as a teacher, he or she will understand the emotional trauma that is faced by the affected student. The experience and skills gained through this challenge will help the teacher handle the problem in an appropriate manner hence creating good relationships with the student which last in providing a suitable learning environment.
It is important to note that, challenges facing urban schools are not entirely unique from those of metropolitan or suburban schools. However, urban schools do share unique demographic and physical characteristics that differentiate them from rural school districts and suburban schools. Therefore, teaching in urban schools requires the teachers to be equipped with the awareness of the dynamics of power, privilege and structural racism for them to execute their duties effectively. Urban schools operate in highly populated places serving significantly more students and therefore marked by high poverty concentration, ethnic diversity and greater racial, linguistic diversity and a large concentration of immigrant population. It is important for the teachers to understand that, although sociodemographic is not entirely the problem or rather the challenge of urban district school systems, it contributes a lot to the social and economic inequities facing such population and in which it leads to the framework of urban schools. The challenges involved in urban district schools have both structural and cultural components in which the teachers should understand (Wasburn-Moses, 2017). Practices and policies of specific schools that impede student performance or fail to address the needs of the student are the structural challenges that teachers be aware of them. Some of these structural challenges are persistently low student achievement, poorly functioning business operation, lack of instructional coherence and also low expectation of students. Alongside structural challenges are cultural challenges that hinder successful school performance. There are several cultural structures that lead to low performance in urban schools.
These cultural dissonance leading to policies, practices and beliefs should be well brought to the awareness of the teachers for the better solving of the challenges arising from these cultural and structural policies. Experienced teaching staffs are the identities that need to be invested in handling challenges arising in urban schools.
Beck, J. S. (2016). The Complexities of a Third-Space Partnership in an Urban Teacher Residency. Teacher Education Quarterly, 43(1), 51-70.
Klein, E. J., Taylor, M., Onore, C., Strom, K., & Abrams, L. (2016). Exploring inquiry in the third space: Case studies of a year in an urban teacher-residency program. The New Educator, 12(3), 243-268.
Vernikoff, L., Goodwin, A. L., Horn, C., & Akin, S. (2018). Urban Residents' Place-Based Funds of Knowledge: An Untapped Resource in Urban Teacher Residencies. Urban Education, 0042085918801887.
Wasburn-Moses, L. (2017). A National Descriptive Survey of Teacher Residency Programs. School-University Partnerships, 10(2), 33-41.
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