Student Teaching inner city

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Erin Haley, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Erin Haley

    Erin Haley New Member

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    Jan 13, 2018

    Hello, I'm really excited to be starting my student teaching in an inner city, which is where I want to teach. However, several teachers in the school have already told me that the city's school district rarely hires because of budget cuts and other issues. I hope I have not made a bad career decision by pushing to student teach in an urban environment. I have read on several forums that student teaching in inner city at least makes a teacher marketable, if the district itself isn't hiring. Is that true?
     
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  3. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Jan 13, 2018

    I, too, did the same when I student taught. I gained invaluable skills and insights into this demographic. If you can be successful with these kiddos, it definitely adds value to your resume.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 13, 2018

    I believe that most teachers who can be successful in an inner-city setting can be successful anywhere. The reverse is not necessarily true.

    Not all student teaching assignments lead to jobs, even in districts where there aren't hiring freezes and budget problems. It's always a good idea to go into your student teaching with the goals to learn as much as possible and to improve as a teacher. Assume that it's a long job interview, even if the odds of a job offer are slim. Sometimes you never know.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jan 13, 2018

    I think that will be a great learning experience for you. IME, inner city districts are always hiring due to high turnover, even if there are budget cuts. Regardless, I'll echo what Caesar said...IME it's not really that typical to get a job in the school you student taught at. I wouldn't base your decision on where to student teach on that.

    My ST year and my first 2 years of teaching were in rural title 1 schools. I moved to the city my 3rd year of teaching. I thought I'd be prepared due to my previous experience in title 1 schools, but "inner city" is really a whole different ballgame. I would have loved to have the chance to learn the ropes as a ST rather than being thrown into that environment with no support. Even if you end up getting a job in an easier setting, being prepared for anything will still help you.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2018

    teacher most often don't get hired where they student taught (as far as I know). However, working at an inner city school can open many doors for you: for one, as others said, it looks good on a resume. If you were successful there, you can most likely handle anything.
    Inner city schools often have high turn overs, so even if it's not your school that hires, principles do talk.
    You want to go in with the mind set to learn as much as possible. Who knows, you might find out it is truly your passion, or you might see that you actually wouldn't want that environment.
    Either way go with it, learn as much as you can, and know that even as a student teach can make a big difference in those students' lives, more than at other schools.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Most people I know did not start where they student taught. I did not even apply to the district in which I student taught.

    If you can teach in an inner city district, you can teach anywhere. It certainly will not hurt to have a successful experience on your resume.
     
  8. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Can you elaborate? I'm curious because I taught at a rural title 1 school before moving to a city. I had a job offer (several) in the inner city but went in another direction and took a job at a private school because the "fit" seemed right for me. I often wonder though what it would be like if I had accepted the other offers.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The kids’ needs are different so behavior management and instruction have to meet their needs. Lessons that almost received a standing ovation elsewhere may land like a lead balloon in an inner city classroom. Kids are kids, but these kids have such different backgrounds that teaching them takes special skills. I am a hard working teacher in any position I’ve taken, but teaching inner city populations takes more from a person. I can only do four to five years before I have to move schools so I don’t burn out.
     
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  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    The behavior is the main difference. We have several kids per classroom that are screaming all day long, destroying the classroom/property, violent against themselves and others, etc. Gang violence is another thing that's not a concern in rural schools. We've recently done a lot of PD on trauma-informed care and the ACE study. ACEs are Adverse Childhood Experiences and a score of even 1 ACE is said to have a huge negative impact on a child's ability to learn. Most of our kids would score 5 or more on this assessment (google if you're not familiar, it will pop up right away). The stuff that these kids witness and go through on a daily basis is astounding.

    There is also little parent support. There is no point in calling home and saying "Johnny is using the f-word in class," because most likely, Johnny's parents use that language at home all the time and don't see it as a problem. Parents feel that they had bad school experiences themselves, and are therefore less likely to support even the idea of education being a good thing in general.

    Many of my students in the rural school were recent immigrants whose parents placed a high value on education. Our parents were generally very young, but 2-parent families were a lot more common. In cases where they were single parents, the child often had many aunts/uncles/other adults in their corner that played a big part in their lives. We did have issues with kids coming to school hungry, parents working so much to make ends meet that they couldn't help with homework or put Johnny to bed on time, etc. but I did not see the amount of trauma that I see with my students now.
     
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  11. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Jan 14, 2018

    Interestingly, my first year mentor taught inner city (I forget if it was student teaching or actual teaching but it was her only experience) and interviewed at a very wealthy high-performing school but did not get the job because they were concerned her experience did not prepare her for the type of students she would have and the rigor of the programs. She was extremely qualified for the position as she had spent almost 10 years in the country of the language she taught and had a masters and it was a hard to fill position, but I guess the “inner city” experience spooked them.
     
  12. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Jan 17, 2018

    You'll run into a lot more diversity and a much higher minority presence as well, so you'll need to keep in mind the cultural differences when designing your lessons, choosing texts, etc. I'm currently student teaching in a middle school with an inner-city feel and it's a big change from my practicums, which were at a very rural middle and an affluent rural/suburban high school. I feel like it's going to more adequately prepare me for classroom challenges though.
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Habitué

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    I am student teaching in a low-income school (it is in the city but I'm not sure if it qualifies as "inner city") and it has been a really important learning experience. I did my pre-prac at the same school in the same class and I have already learned so much. Because I attended suburban schools as a child, it has been really important for me to learn how to teach my students because it is definitely a very different experience. The biggest difference for me is the behavior. Most students are well behaved, but we have about 5-6 students in each class with some pretty bad behavioral issues that really throws off the rest of the class. Some of these students have had trauma in their home lives which likely causes some of the behaviors. It's very frustrating and I'm still trying to figure out how to handle these issues because my mentor doesn't really have strategies for this. The academics are also frustrating because I have some students who cannot add or subtract and we are in 8th grade math. We are working through the 8th grade standards but imo the level is very low without much critical thinking. As a teacher, I really do want to increase the rigor and hold high expectations of my students but I'm not sure how to do so.

    If you are willing to work in a low-income school, I do think that they can have more job opportunities than suburban schools. We were told that some suburban schools in my area usually only hire teachers with several years of experience. I have a two year commitment to teaching in a low-income school through my scholarship and my program supervisor said that everyone in my scholarship program has gotten a teaching job in the past.
     
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  14. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2018

    Just want to emphasize that while the trauma aspects are (unfortunately) nearly universal (this is a great, relevant TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime), the parent support is not. I'm not trying to minimize the quoted poster's experience, and I know that's what they were speaking to, but I think it's important to note that there is wide variation in this regard. I have exclusively taught in urban, high poverty, high trauma areas, and I have always been able to develop solid parent relationships with the vast majority of my students' parents. I definitely let them know for things like repeated inappropriate language and they are generally supportive - even if that language is used at home, they generally agree that it is not appropriate for school. My students' parents absolutely feel that school is important and education is a good thing.
     

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