People widely believe that knowledge is power. And it is teachers who have the honor to provide others with this power. This puts immense responsibility on their shoulders. A stereotypical belief is that a teacher’s job is only to teach a particular subject and leave. However, this occupation’s actuality is significantly different from what we commonly believe. It is in a teacher’s power to realize students’ potential and their latent talents, impart knowledge and foster their interest to make the best use of their skills. Letting a talent go unnoticed is a teacher’s worst fear. It is also a huge loss for the educational institution and the child.
When teaching in an urban setting, the pressure is even higher. The students are diverse demographics, coming from different social classes, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Handling diversity and being on top of their game are two skills these teachers need to master. But how? Let us look at these seven tips that will help teachers do well in an urban setting.
- Proper training.
Students, especially young ones, perceive their teacher as a role model. They follow academic instructors and aim to have a personality and successful career like them. With such high influencing power, having a master’s in Urban Education might help teachers and equip them with all necessary tools that will aid them. Managing diverse student populations, learning culturally appropriate teaching strategies, and formulating a holistic curriculum are techniques that good training can instill.
- Be flexible.
Students in an urban setting are a little high maintenance. A teacher must know about what is going on in the school and even the student’s households, sometimes. Confronting an underperforming student in an accusatory manner can negatively impact them. It is much more appropriate to talk the matter out with the student carefully, and a counseling session may be required. Understanding a student’s situation and being flexible with submission timelines will always be appreciated by students in an urban environment. Plenty goes on in a student’s personal life, and the drama is much more severe when talking about an urban setting. Flexibility is the key in such cases.
- Do not hesitate to show love for your subject.
Students in an Urban school are good at observing when a teacher tries too hard to fit in. Being relatable to students is important, but going out of your way to express yourself as someone you are not might just be a joke to them. Instead, the teacher should focus on being themself and express their love for the subject they’re teaching. The teacher’s confidence in their subject and passion will genuinely impress students. It will also make them more inclined to pay attention to the teacher and the course itself.
- Use contemporary teaching methods/activities.
Students in an urban environment are always looking for something new. New things spike their interest, and teachers should take advantage of this trait. Instead of limiting the lesson to just a lecture, involve the students through activities. Dividing people into groups and presenting challenges to solve together can effectively gauge their attention during the lesson. Incorporating technology in the curriculum and lesson plans might be another genius way of connecting with students. Using urban resources and encouraging your students to investigate and experiment with technological resources can be of great help. Moreover, activities that aim to prepare students for future career paths and add value to the lecture are fruitful ways to be practical.
- Make your lectures understandable by all.
When talking about an urban setting, you might feel the pressure of making sure everybody feels included and comfortable. For example, you might need to adopt a different teaching approach for students who speak other languages and have different environments at home. In such a situation, a teacher should include methods of teaching that everyone in the classroom might be able to comprehend. For instance, using graphical methods, illustrations, and translators can make studying easier for your students. Also, using alternative activities and assessments can allow students to incorporate their unique personal experiences and responsibilities in their academics.
- Make yourself relatable.
It is human nature to be much more interested in a conversation where you can relate to the person. Sharing unrelatable stories and experiences is a perfect way to put students to sleep in an urban school. These students will only listen if they believe they can be a character in your story. Share experiences that you might have in common and achievements that seem achievable to the age group you are teaching.
- Keep your lectures relevant to the local urban environment.
Concepts are always easier to retain when explained with examples. Using familiar places, familiar personalities, familiar problems of a local community will make your students’ in-school experiences developmental. All your students from diverse backgrounds have one thing in common – the external environment. They have similar college/school life, social life, similar problems, and similar events they like to attend. Try to inculcate these similarities into your lectures to bridge the gap between all students. Field trips that are related to the course present great opportunities for learning.
Teaching in an urban setting may be a challenge. However, you can surely become an inspiration for your students with the right training and qualification. In addition, you can follow these tips above to ensure nothing goes wrong!