Advantages and Disadvantages of the different school settings.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by msullivan, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. msullivan

    msullivan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 14, 2011

    As I am nearing graduation, I am trying to decide what setting I want to teach in, whether it be urban, suburbs, or rural. So the question I pose to you, is what is the best thing about the school setting you teach in, and what is the worst thing? Also, how did you decide on the best school setting for you?

    Thank you for your advice!

    :thanks:
     
  2.  
  3. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 14, 2011

    I have been teaching in an urban school for the past three years, and am now moving to a rural school.

    I adored my school; the kids have huge personalities and are so appreciative of the extra things you do for them. There are huge challenges though - drugs, gangs, violence, severe lack of parent involvement, extreme home situations that take away from education, etc.
     
  4. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jun 14, 2011

    The best thing about the setting of my school is that it is close to my home. Not so close that students can know where I live, but close enough that people can be envious of my commute and I can go 2 weeks on a tank of gas. We are also more suburban, I am good with that as well. Do not think I would ever go for urban/inner city type schools.
     
  5. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jun 14, 2011

    I teach in an urban setting. I teach there because it is where I live and have lived my whole life. I know people who work in my city who have worked elsewhere or know people who moved from the city to elsewhere have said anywhere else is kind of a disappointment and rather dull after teaching here. I do not know how true that is since I have really only taught in the same city all my years teaching.

    What I understood as far as differences rural areas often have severe poverty, urban areas can have extreme poverty which can span to extreme wealth all in the same city (sometimes in the same school), and suburban will be middle class to wealthy most often.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,129
    Likes Received:
    981

    Jun 14, 2011

    My setting is really hard to describe. We have more transient touristy population. I don't know how to put it, haha. It's a smallish town (not rural though) with about 50% of the people being extremely wealthy (not millions of dollars-billions) and 50% being extremely poor. Many of the wealthy students go to the local charter schools, so my school is about 90% below the poverty line, hispanic ELL students. The remaining 10% are the few wealthy families that have chosen to send their kids to public school. Given our population, we have a lot of the same issues as an urban school, although we are not techincally in a big city. Personally, I love my school and I love our student population. The kids are thankful for everything and they are excited to learn. Most of them are immigrants who came here for a better life, so many of their parents really value and support education. It is tough since many parents don't speak English, and many of our students are dealing with some serious issues outside of school. Obviously, the ELL situation makes things harder as well since the students have that obstacle to overcome.

    I think suburban areas are considered the "easiest" places to work with more parent support and less poverty/ELL issues. However, the competition for jobs in these areas in obviously extremely intense.

    My best friend teaches at a rural school. It is so rural in fact, that most of her students plan on taking over the family farm after graduation and see no use in higher education. She is teaching Spanish, and the majority of the kids have never seen a hispanic person in their lives, so they think it's a waste of time. Other subjects may have it easier though.

    One thing you want to consider also is the setting you want to live in. My friend in the rural area has NOTHING to do outside of school. Literally, her town has a walmart and a gas station. The nearest restaurant is even about 25 minutes away. On the flip side, some people wouldn't like to live in a big city.
     
  7. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jun 14, 2011

    I teach in a rural area. I like the smaller nature of the school... I know all the staff, and the vast majority of the kids in the building. I also get my own classroom, and generally have more freedom with curriculum than my peers in larger districts.

    That said, we lack the resources of larger districts. Further, in my community, there is a serious lack of value placed on education. Roughly 40% of our kids go to college, and over half that is community college. The rest will be farmers, or work in local small industry. This results in major apathy towards schoolwork, and this is rather frustrating.
     
  8. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 15, 2011

    Private- Catholic school

    Cons- We have a large population of border students. They cross the border daily and the language barrier makes it difficult. Many of the our employees also have the language barrier, including some teachers. It affects us because they refuse to practice the language and they end up being a bad example for the students.
    The salary isn't great, its under $20,000.
    Not everyone is certified to teach or have the right school for their job. Some administrators only have a bachelors in education, but don't know how to be administrators.

    positive- we get to talk about God freely. Class size is small and we get to do more. There is not set curriculum, so as long as we follow the basics that the state requires we can create our own. This allows for a lot of flexibility and creativty from us. Although for many of our teachers that might not be a positive thing. They want structure.

    I love working with my students. I cannot say the same for the admin or staff. Some of our parents have an "i pay you" attitude. Good luck.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    2,221

    Jun 15, 2011

    I think that some of the suburban teachers need to have a change in scenery for a while. You wouldn't think they had it "easy" to hear them talk.

    To the OP:
    You need to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. You need to make a list of your TRUE attitudes towards students and families. Be honest with yourself because you will be the one in the situation with a year of a student's academic life under your supervision.

    Do you need the best equipment in order to teach? Can you do it with just paper and pencil? How is your classroom management skills? How thick is your skin? What annoys you more, parents asking you questions and having to explain the whys of what you are doing or parents that aren't going to be very much involved?

    First and foremost, be honest with who you are and your current skills, not who you would like to think you are. Then you will find your right fit.

    Excellent teachers come in all types, but finding the right fit will make or break a teacher. Not all have the right make-up to work with high poverty and ESL, while others thrive. But reverse the roles, the thriving teacher in one environment might be seen as the most awful teacher there is in another environment.
     
  10. applecore

    applecore Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    23

    Jun 15, 2011

    The one that gives me a paycheck because with 89 teachers being let go in our neighboring city due to budget cuts, anything is better than nothing.

    I had THE best opprtunities when I started looking for a job right out of college...two school districts offered me a job. One in the rural and one in the city. I choose the city because it's where I live, but would have done the rural because over anything else I love to teach. I love my community and being able to teach in the same community that I live in, even though there are days that I envy my coworkers who commute from other areas :)

    Now if I was forced to move to Alaska or some deserted island to teach, that would be a little more difficult for me to adjust to because of my love for the sun and people. :)

    Basically: I suggest go with your gut feeling where you are lead to apply and teach. You can always travel!
     
  11. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 15, 2011

    To be honest for me it wasn't so much about suburban/urban because I've worked both and liked both; it was more about feeling a sense of community and belonging within the school. Where I felt I "fit in." It's really hard to get that feeling just from an interview, so I'm fortunate that I had long term sub experience in one and and could make an informed decision to return when offered a job. The perks of the urban district is that it was MUCH bigger so they had more funding and grants for anything from professional development to being able to purchase curriculum programs. The school I'm returning to is so small that they don't get a lot of outside funding. Even though it's "suburban" the socioeconomic and academic level of the people who live there are just slightly above the urban school and we get many kids from the city through a program the state has. Regardless, I felt a sense of belonging there and so that's where I went!
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jun 15, 2011

    I teach in an alternative school, and I love it! So many people shy away when they hear "alternative" but there are different kinds. Mine is called an "academic" alternative or a "school of choice" because it's designed for kids who are at least a year behind in credits but want to try to catch up (or not drop out all together). It's WONDERFUL. We have the same kinds of problems that everyone else has, but they aren't any worse. We do struggle more with attendance and apathy than most, but that's mainly because they are so used to not coming to school or they are so afraid they'll never catch up that they get frustrated. Still, the building is small, the classes are small, and I feel like I really have a chance to help kids who need me most.

    I taught at an urban high school for 10 years, and it's not nearly as "scary" as people think it is. Kids are kids. They are funny, immature, moody, silly, irreverant, frustrated, kind... you know, human. LOL.

    The district I teach in now is considered to be suburban, and honestly, I don't see a big difference between the kids. The *parents* are different in their expectations of the kids and the students, but that's an entirely different issue... :)
     
  13. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 15, 2011

    I work in a suburban school. Wealthy parents...kids miss 7-10 days of school during Jan and Feb to cruise. Parents are very involved and don't like anything lower then a B for their children.(generalizaton) Many parents do the homework, projects for the kids. Administration caters to the wealthy parents of the students (lots of entitlements) but, I still taught to the best of my ability,gave kids the grades they earned, and when the P said change a grade I complied. A lot of teachers fought the administration causing drama and bad feelings. Teacher's always lost in the end. Next year I will be teaching in a rural school, 95% of the students will be on free lunch as there is high poverty. I feel strongly I am going to be a much better fit for the rural school than the wealthy suburban school. So, I suggest you get the feeling of the school and go with your gut. I kinda knew the 2nd year (changed the administration, school district split) that it wasn't a good fit, and I was right. It gave me the push to move to something more comfortable and closer to family.
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  14. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 15, 2011

    I've taught in all, and the one I'm in now is a hybrid. We're technically suburban, but we have kids who get up at 4:00 to milk cows, and we have kids who are very urban, living in projects, etc. They are all good, and they are all bad. You need to pick what suits you.

    When I worked in NYC, my kids were great, but I carried a knife so I wouldn't be mugged on the way to my car every night. One of my students killed somebody who interrupted his birthday party. But he was always respectful to me. Many of my kids were immigrants, but many were not.

    Here, I have a variety of problems, and some kids are great, and some kids are not. My curriculum is set for me, but I teach non-core courses part of the time, so I get freedom there. I have some parental support, but not alot.

    I'm glad I left the city, but I did that for me, not because of my teaching situation. I refused to raise my child in the NYC school system, and I don't believe in private school.
     
  15. Born2beTeacher

    Born2beTeacher Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 15, 2011

    I teach in an urban environment, and for the most part I love it. My biggest peeve is that class sizes can be colossal some years, and that means I don't get the time to get to know the students as well, and I find I can't give them as much focused attention as I would like.
     
  16. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,842
    Likes Received:
    321

    Jun 15, 2011

    I teach in a high-needs urban school and I love it! I recently observed an interviewed in a suburban school and I was *so* weirded out. Most of the kids were at grade level and there were almost no behavior issues. I did a writing conference with a fourth grade student and recommended she add more details to her paragraph....and she did it. No lip smacking. No confusion. Just...got it done. I almost died of boredom. :lol: However, I did enjoy the project based learning in this school. Teachers were able to assign long-term projects for home and parents actually got the materials necessary to complete them. If I did the same project with my kids I'd have to get all the supplies, give them time in class to work on it, model cooperative learning incessantly so they don't stab each other....it's exhausting! (But I love it. I am more fulfilled where I am.)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 195 (members: 1, guests: 175, robots: 19)
test