One of the reasons why I choose to teach in a high need school is because it is my calling - Teaching fellowship introduction. High need schools are basically schools in regions where there is a low income earning community. Some of the main challenges that face high need school teachers are that unlike in other schools, these teachers offer other services apart from teaching. The teachers almost always have to deal with counseling on conflict resolution; it happens that fighting is almost always the first line of conflict resolution among the students in these schools. The teacher also has to, at time provide food or light snacks for the pupils who come from poor background. These services among others require nothing less than a calling.
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Another reason why I prefer to teaching in these schools is that the growing shortage of teachers in schools is becoming more and more acute. This shortage is due to lack of retention high-need districts which is affecting most schools in these regions because most teachers don’t prefer to teach in these schools. It becomes therefore imperative for me to teachers of good heart to teach in these schools.
It is a fact that most teachers who teach in high need schools entered the service through the alternate route programs rather than the traditional teacher training. Some teachers have even entered the service because it was the only job opening, this may have lowered the quality of education in these institutions. It therefore requires trained professionals who are well prepared, well trained, love teaching, and is motivated to make a difference in these schools.
One skill I have learnt over time is listening skills. As class teacher listening skill is most essential. Mostly teachers have to listen because it helps in understanding the student better and connect with him or her better. Listening is a critical factor in fostering student-teacher relationship. One of the intrinsic needs of students is to feel that they are understood. Good listening skills on the part of the teacher help the student to identify easily with the subject being taught because they feel that the teacher is really interested in what they are saying.
In listening, I keep an open mind to what the student is saying. This helps the student to express him or herself without fear of correction. This helps in building self confidence in the students. I also listen for meaning. Students may sometimes ask muddled questions. These questions when listened to from the perspective of what they mean can help teachers to understand whether the student has grasped the concept being taught or not. And thus listening has helped me in creating an effective learning environment which encourages growth and high academic achievements among the students.
In the past listening skills has helped me become aware of student’s strengths and limitations. Awareness of student’s weaknesses and strengths helped me in evaluating my teaching performance as well as specify my lessons into larger or smaller context area depending on the needs of the students. From the questions I asked, I have also been able to adjust the lesson plan based on the responses so as to meet areas where more emphasis was required.