5 tips for effective teaching in urban areas

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Contrary to perceived notions of teaching being merely a profession, it is a massive responsibility. If you have just started as a teacher, know that it will not be an easy process in any way.

You will face numerous hurdles while teaching, including not being able to conduct a class properly due to administrative issues or non-cooperation.

However, stay calm as you consider all your problems because having a reactionary attitude never helps anyone. You need to understand that things will have to be tackled strategically because you have a responsibility to fulfill.

You are not there to merely spend the month working and get paid by the first of the following month.

When it comes to teaching, the reward is contentment. You get rewarded through this internal satisfaction when you find your students learning and performing well.

So, in essence, good teaching is an end in itself. Your friends in the stock market or other industries may be doing financially better than you, but do not despair.

You are not there to compete with others financially; you’re there to help make the world better.

When it comes to urban areas, there can be various challenges. Unlike rural areas, you are not dealing with a concentrated population; you’re dealing with diversity.

This itself can pose several issues for you if you do not understand the difference in dynamics between the two. To fully understand the challenges you’ll face educating people in the urban areas, you’ll need experience and education.

Experience comes with time, but as far as education is concerned, any MA in Urban Education program can equip you with the right tools for this. Still, we have you covered if you cannot dedicate time for another degree.

Following is a list of some tips to help you teach more effectively in urban areas:

  • Understand challenges:

The first step towards developing an effective teaching strategy comes from developing a good understanding of your challenges. Be very clear about the hurdles in your path.

You also need to see if you are missing some part of the picture and are not making premature judgments. Usually, this part is overlooked as people proceed with a reactionary attitude towards challenges.

Therefore, create a mental list of problems you are facing or will face a few weeks down the line. Start by making an objective assessment of your circumstances and must consider all aspects of your life for the term.

Once you develop clarity here, you can proceed with the next step. It is worth noting here that while you may not be able to draw an accurate assessment, this step is still worth it.

  • Understand diversity: 

As mentioned above, the demographics of urban areas are different from rural areas. You are not teaching people from the same socio-political or economic backgrounds; rather, you’re teaching people from various environments.

Here, you would need to develop a deeper understanding of how different people perceive matters differently.

Only then will you be able to educate those students effectively. Here it is essential to speak to your students’ parents at parent-teacher meetings.

Educate yourself about their culture to avoid anything that may be culturally offensive to them. Your goal is to come across as understanding as possible, rather than someone who lacks the sense to adjust to their conduct.

  • Communicate effectively:

Once you understand the diversity in your class, you need to develop communication with your students. While many teachers go in front of the class and start lecturing them, you need to speak to them to understand how they respond to prompts.

Some of your students may be intellectually weak compared to the bright ones, and it is your job to educate them. You cannot do this unless you understand how they think and process information. Communication can be helpful here.

Moreover, in urban areas, you may come across students from a non-English speaking background.

They may not be able to understand concepts or terms in English. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make those concepts as easy to understand.

You ultimately want them to benefit from your class and develop a proper understanding of those concepts to learn and grow intellectually.

  • Use multimedia resources:

Many traditional methods of education are now outdated. The world has changed, and you want to prepare kids for complex information they are likely to encounter in later classes.

Therefore, multimedia resources can help the students visualize the concepts they are being taught. This can help generate the correct neural responses, which might help them remember information in the long run.

Moreover, you will sooner or later figure out that not every student responds to textual or audio prompts the same way. If you are teaching a history class, showing them a movie (unbiased, of course) can help them remember what happened.

Usually, people remember things they have seen, and movies can be a particularly convenient tool.

  • Impart socially-conscious education:

Urban areas are a confluence of diverse cultures. Once you understand that your students come from diverse backgrounds, you are responsible for teaching them things that can help raise a socially-conscious generation.

Educate them about climate change, their civic responsibilities, and harmony. While this may not exactly be your subject, these issues are relevant, and the classroom can be an excellent place to make a change.

Teach the students to be conscious of others’ backgrounds and perceive them as equals. This can help prevent racism in society. Also, teach them about ways to help protect the environment.

You can also set rewards for students who help take part in the tree plantation drive. Moreover, teach them that they have a civic responsibility as members of society, and you will prepare them for tomorrow.

Final thoughts:

Education is the foundation of a prosperous society, and it is your duty as a teacher to plant the seeds for this. What you teach them today will manifest in their behavior tomorrow.

Therefore, you need to prepare them for intellectual challenges in the future. Still, train them to become socially and politically conscious individuals in a rapidly globalizing society.

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