Since I grew up in the same inner city environment that
I teach in, perhaps I can't understand how to teach another
person to deal with, and enjoy the challenge. My kids come to
school with all kinds of experiences and pent up feelings that
most of us were never even aware of. The first thing I would suggest
is to see their strengths. They have more feelings and emotions
than most rural and suburban kids. (Sorry Suburbs) Diversity is
also a really strong point. First, respect the kids as people.
Second, demand that they perform at a very high level - they
will amaze you. Third, Have a sense of humor, you will need it.
Fourth, Don't let the little things get to you. Don't put up with them
but don't bend little things out of proportion. Fifth, and finally RELAX,
so you can enjoy what you do. These kids pick up quickly when you
are bugged, they feed on it. I have the best students in the world.
I would not trade my poor inner city school for any white bread, well
equipped school anywhere.
Hope this makes sense, Woody in KC
> So many of us are simply not prepared for this type of narrative about
> teaching art where each day is a battleground. It seems like often, though
> not always these stories come from inter city teaching. I was deeply moved
> and continue to concerned about these types of placements and experiences
> for both the art teachers and the students. It needs to get better........
> Here's my question. This person says her course work did not prepare
> her. (perhaps coursework never does....but) How can teacher education
> programs prepare students better for this type of teaching
> environment? Ideas?