Would your role as a teacher change, based on the socio-economic status of the students and the community?

I think it would be considerably more challenging to work in low SES communities. The statistics in our text are daunting. High absenteeism, high drop out rates, challenging family situations, parents with little time, inclination or resource to support education, major distractions and pitfalls in the community. As I said in a previous post, it feels like teachers in those communities are standing beneath an avalanche.

The first thing a teacher would need is committment. It is no small thing, teaching in that environment. It would necessary to be clear on why the teacher went to work each day. It would have to about the kids. Not the parents. Not the school system. Not the salary. The kids. And even that would be tricky. I think such a teacher would have to be prepared to lose regularly. There’s no way even the best teacher could successfully support each child through the year. So such a teacher would have to be prepared to go beyond their capabilities for each child and still lose often. Very hard. On the other, this is perhaps the noblest fight. Fighting for children who nobody else is fighting for. If such a teacher could endure the challenge and the failures, they’d have every right to sleep soundly, knowing that angels would be on their shoulders each day, cheering.

It is true that there are elements of these challenges in communities of any SES. But the density would be so much higher.

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