Knowledge Center: For Teachers


Benefits and Challenges of Teaching in an Urban School

Urban schools are always in need of talented, passionate teachers who want to make a difference in the lives of their students. It is important to understand that urban districts will offer some challenges. Our members have indicated some of these challenges to be; less support from parents at home, language barriers, and undiagnosed learning disabilities which can all make for a very taxing teaching experience. But a great teacher has a passion for teaching that can transcend these difficulties. Great educators desire to make a difference and gain satisfaction by making a positive impact on people's lives.

There are tangible benefits to teaching in urban schools. The average salary for teachers in urban public schools is $51,200 for an educator with their bachelor's degree and as high as $58,400 for a teacher with a doctorate. "Furthermore, living in a city offers other great advantages as well. From cultural experiences like museums and plays, to active social scenes like nightclubs and restaurants, living in a city is never boring. Some of the most beautiful cities in the United States --- New York, Chicago, San Francisco --- have urban schools in high need of teachers. For young teachers just beginning their careers, the city can offer some amazing opportunities." From, What is an Urban School?

Urban schools are broken down into three subcategories based on the Census Bureau?s definitions of an urban city:

Inside an urbanized area and principal city with a population of 250,000 or more.

Inside an urbanized area and principal city with a population of 250,000 or less.

Inside an urbanized area and principal city with a population of less than 100,000.

To be a successful educator at an urban school you need to possess certain qualities such as,

  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Sense of Humor

"Days can be stressful, so a sense of humor and an optimistic outlook are important. Urban schools can have very diverse populations, so you should have strong interpersonal skills to be able to work effectively with a wide range of cultures in the same room, keeping in mind that these students? cultures and backgrounds may be very different from yours. Finally, because there may not be someone at home making sure students doing their work, it's important to have strong leadership skills to motivate your students."  From Urban Schools Need Better Teachers, Not Excuses, to Close the Education Gap by Joel I. Klein, March 4, 2009