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Teaching in High-needs, low income communities.

Oct 24, 2009   #1

I'm applying for a teaching fellowship position and as a part of the application process, I am to submit a 200-400 word essay on why I want to teach in a low-income, high needs school setting.

I would really appreciate any help you can offer me on writing this. My intent is for it to grab the audience (my prospective employer) and feel that I am a qualified candidate for the position. I have no teaching degree, only a B.S in biology. This program is an alternative route to teacher certification. Thank you for all the help you can offer me :)

The question is:

1. Nearly all Fellows are hired to teach in 'high-need' schools that are located in low-income communities. Why do you want to teach in a high-need school, and what experiences have prepared you for the challenges of teaching in a high-need school?

My response:

First and foremost, I believe that I will make a passionate, dedicated, and inspiring teacher. Though my motivation for wanting to teach in high-need schools resides in stories I hear about the students and community. Just Google "high-need schools" and a plethora of sad, desperate and sometimes heartbreaking news articles, essays, studies, and other media pop up. Looking at these stories from an individual perspective, one may see a status-quo mess with very little hope in uplifting or changing matters for the better. A situation where one may feel that since it doesn't appear to affect themselves or their families in anyway, then, "why bother?" However, looking at it from another angle, one that values and appreciates the beauty and ugliness of the human condition, injustice stands out-screams aloud-asking, yelling, for help. The disparity that exists between the haves and the have-nots is tragic at times. Nevertheless, in the heartbreak that is felt there also exists a niche for people who care to step up and give all they can to make a difference. This is where I find myself: caring so much about the people who were not born as lucky as I was. I believe that being a teacher is a political and moral act that can either permit the achievement gap to remain stagnant or even widen or it can act as an effort for closing the gap and solving social injustice. I am encouraged to take on this challenge, and feel that the first most important thing that I would embody as a Twin Cities Teaching Fellow is to be an advocate for my students and their education. I want to bring a fresh approach to teaching. I'm encouraged to see and to be a part of this avenue to bring fresh, new ideas into the world of public education in hopes of correcting the inequalities that are currently inherent to the system as we know it.

Oct 24, 2009   #2
I believe that being a teacher is a political and moral act that can either permit or even widen the achievement gap to remain stagnant , or it can act as an effort for closing the gap and solveing social injustice.

that's really all i found wrong in your essay!
it's really well-written, to say the least.
You are, first of all, remarkable for wanting to take this on. I applaud you for that.

This will impress your prospective employers, no doubt. I do wonder, having been a teacher in just such a setting, how you will feel when you discover that your students could care less about your fresh ideas. It's very hard work, and some days you'll feel like you are the only one who cares.

This is very well-written, and says all the right things.

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