I've sort of survived three weeks of a new teaching gig.
Going into this, I knew teaching in an urban school would come with its challenges---however, I could not anticipate the breadth of the challenges I'd face. My students are diverse, culturally, academically, economically, and in maturity. I'm gathering that many do not easily trust adults. Appropriate interaction with authority figures is sometimes difficult for many of them. Rules? Many will tell you where you can stick those rules. While these qualities apply to most adolescents anywhere in the country--they are more noticeable in urban areas simply because of higher populations. I knew before that urban areas are hugely under resourced. But knowledge and first-hand experience are two different beasts.
I'm still learning the nuances of my new district and its students we serve, and I feel a bit like a fish out of water. I left school today feeling pretty defeated. I've prided myself on being a good problem solver who is quick on her feet, but some of the problems I've already faced in the classroom have left me dumbfounded. On some levels, my classroom management has to change. My expectations need to be revised to better meet the needs of the students I serve. I have to think more creatively about how to approach reading and writing with a lack of resources. Unfortunately, I can't immediately come up with a solution to these dilemmas.
This year will be messy.