Originally Posted by collegestudentfromalabama
It sounds exciting! Well, I don't know. I don't mind hard work, but I need to feel like I can get it done. The best course of action may be to get a lot of information from teachers, parents, and adminstration about the students I'm planning to work with and the type of instruction that works well with those students. It would also be helpful for me to do a lot of reading about success in inner-city schools and maybe present a very thorough plan with my resume? This way they would know that I've done my research, and we would already be somewhat familiar with each other from the beginning. Maybe it would be helpful to work as a sub in the district in which I want to teach. I could also perhaps volunteer for community services, such as tutoring or literacy programs.
I think you should definitely volunteer and otherwise get to know the communities you're interested in teaching in. I'm not a teacher, but I have worked in educational-related positions in the "inner city." (as well as went to city public schools myself, although in a district that managed to retain a middle and upper class presence in addition to the classic problems of extreme poverty and other issues you find in every urban school district).
Again, I'm not coming at this from the point of view as a teacher, but I think one thing to avoid would be to look at the kids as though they're some sort of exotic foreign species that can be studied from afar. I know that's not what you're saying here, and I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but sometimes people come in with high expectations and idealistic beliefs but no actual practical experience, and that can be annoying. Your idea to volunteer or tutor is an excellent one. I don't think it even needs to be academic in nature; maybe something "fun" like afterschool programs at a neighborhood park or center, for example. Something where you can really start to get a sense for the issues facing these kids and their families.