Home : 2002 : Feb : 16
I've taught in the inner city off and on for seven years. I also taught at a school where the parents were doctors, college professors and other professionals. Both situations have their share of problems. Never in my years at the inner city schools has a parent approached me and said, "You can't give my child that grade. Don't you know who I am???" But, I do know what you mean about the incredible discipline problems you run into daily. From watching my collegues I'm convinced that some teachers are just better in these schools. They seem to take the problems in stride. This isn't much help to the rest of us. I've made a mental list of the things they do that seem to help.
They are always very calm.
They are consistent even when faced with stuff that makes me crazy.
They have a good sense of humor.
They are able to leave school problems at school.
They don't agonize over small things.
They expect their administrators to earn their keep.
Having said all this, I don't know if I will be able to teach ten more years in my current school. It is very difficult work. Good luck to you. I hope you make it. You sound like you really care about these at-risk kids. And that's the kind of teacher they need and deserve.
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