Essay Sample on My Initial Perceptions of Urban Education and Teaching in High-needs Schools.

Published: 2023-12-05
Essay Sample on My Initial Perceptions of Urban Education and Teaching in High-needs Schools.
Essay type:  Argumentative essays
Categories:  Teaching School Personal experience
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 881 words
8 min read

My initial perceptions of urban education and teaching in high-needs schools were mainly based on misconceptions. To begin with, I believed that urban schools were the ones located in cities; thus, urban education was for schools that were in the city. I did not realize that teaching in high-needs schools was different from teaching in other schools. I noticed some differences between the two schools' students, such as the urban schools students' appeared not to value education and needed more help and guidance. But I knew nothing about comprehending and appreciating students' cultures, experiences, and resources. The two articles by Jacob and Watson et al. are eye-openers on effective urban teaching and staffing urban schools' challenges, respectively.

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Effective Urban Teaching/ Effective Teaching

Effective urban teaching is quite different from effective teaching. It is mainly because of the distinctions between urban students and suburban students. Urban schools have students from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds (Jacob, 2007). Teachers have to understand the young people in a non-stereotypical way while recognizing and appreciating how culture and context influence their learning and lives, for them to be effective teachers. One has to focus on the students as individuals with unique needs.

However, research revealed that teachers struggled to identify whether their school was urban, effective teaching, and urban teaching (Jacob, 2007). It shows that teachers have a lot to learn about ethnic groups and framework, and their effects of tutoring techniques. Factors such as schooling context, the teaching environment, and the teacher's life experiences define a teacher's teaching techniques (Jacob, 2007). The development of effective urban teaching methodologies depends on both teacher education and induction programs. The programs are equipped to support the questioning of systems that belittle and discriminate against students of color, hence bolstering unfairness across the United States Public School System. At times, color can blind teachers' convictions and teaching methodologies, limiting them from providing accessible information to all students.

Teacher education offers potential teachers an encounter with the concept of impartial teaching and learning that challenges their beliefs. It means that these Teacher Training programs present an opportunity for preparing teachers in antiracist, fair disciplines (Jacob, 2007). Teacher preparation plays a significant role in purposefully tackling potential teachers' beliefs, especially those about how race influences their teaching because it is designed such that multiculturalism is fundamental to the program. Teacher education programs can help tackle race and inequity issues by putting the principles against racism at the core of the system.

The Challenges of Staffing Urban

Urban schools experience challenges of staffing with productive teachers. Certain grades and subjects experience more acute teacher scarcities than others, and it varies from school to school (Watson et al., 2006). The applicants are usually interested in certain schools and specific teaching positions. Urban Districts face challenges in enticing and hiring teachers. It means that they have to hire teachers with fewer qualification characteristics like experience, educational background, and teaching certification than their suburb counterparts. But they may not be necessarily less qualified. Research shows that the teacher characteristics have minimal impact on the teacher outcomes (Watson et al., 2006). Therefore, the regulations that reinforce teachers' qualities must be analyzed in terms of their impact on students' accomplishments, instead of convectional teacher characteristics.

Urban teacher shortages are a result of an imbalance in supply and demand. Supply factors include salaries, educational facilities, and closeness between the schools and prospective teachers (Watson et al., 2006). Urban districts have attempted different tactics, like increasing wages and targeted bonuses and introducing mentorship programs to increase the number of prospective teachers and retention rates. However, there is little research evidence that proves the effectiveness of these tactics. Urban teacher shortages are also caused by demand, but urban school directors do not acknowledge and appreciate high-quality teachers. They announce job offers late in the hiring season when most applicants have accepted other job opportunities. Urban districts have to improve their employment strategies and reevaluate the teachers' tenure policies to dismiss ineffective teachers.

How My Perceptions have changed after Reading the Articles?

After reading the two articles, I gave realized that I was misguided about what urban education entailed. Urban schools are schools that have students from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. I understand that effective urban teaching interconnects with the students' prior knowledge and experiences. Students' construction of knowledge is based on their culture; thus, teachers may activate their real-life experiences to facilitate new content learning. That way, teachers' will attain their learning goals and standards. For effective urban teaching to be attained, the students' behavior has to be regulated, and the students' have to be guided. Aspecmuste schooling context, the teaching environment, and the teacher's life experiences define his teaching techniques. Teacher education programs prepare prospective teachers on how to deal with students from different cultures and races. It places the philosophy of antiracism at the core of the training process. I now understand the difficulties urban schools face in staffing with effective teachers for all grades and subjects and that supply and demand factors contribute to urban teacher shortages.


Jacob, B. A. (2007). The Challenges of Staffing Urban Schools with Effective Teachers. The Future of Children, 17(1), 129-153. doi:10.1353/foc.2007.0005

Watson, D., Charner-Laird, M., Kirkpatrick, C. L., Szczesiul, S. A., & Gordon, P. J. (2006). Effective Teaching/Effective Urban Teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(4), 395-409. doi:10.1177/0022487106291564

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