While teaching at an inner-city school can be rewarding because you're inspiring students to be their best and you're instilling confidence in them, it can also be challenging not just because of the environment you're teaching in, but also because some of the students come from home environments that aren't always loving and conducive to learning. As a result, you may have students who are talented and who can do the work, but who struggle with confidence and in some cases have to financially support the family.
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Lack of Resources
One major challenge of teaching at inner-city schools is the lack of funding that's needed to teach the students effectively. For example, if an inner-city school principal is unable to purchase a certain amount of textbooks, then students will not be able to bring books home for the purpose of studying and doing assignments. If the city's school board decides to slash after-school programs such as tutoring, band, school newspaper and drama club, students won't have creative and positive alternatives to bad influences in the neighbourhood.
Disagreement with Administrative Policies
Another challenge for inner-city schoolteachers is the disagreement they sometimes have with the school administration's policies. If a teacher has the idea of getting together with other teachers to raise funds for a career day event but the administration doesn't believe it's a good idea, this could lead to frustration. Or if a teacher wants to administer an essay and reading comprehension exam but the principal disagrees with the idea, tension occurs.
Lack of Motivation by Students
Another major challenge for inner-city schoolteachers is the students' lack of motivation and confidence. In addition, the teachers have to struggle to maintain order in the classrooms because some students are not well-behaved. When teachers attempt to reach some of the students, they may not show interest because they distrust the teachers or because their families didn't encourage them to value education. But if teachers are persistent and show genuine concern for the students, eventually they'll open up and develop a desire to learn.
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