TREND Spring 2017 - Page 26

When I had moved from Florida back to Tennessee I thought I knew plenty about teach- ing in urban settings; after all, in Florida my previous school had been in the local news- paper for highest gang activity in the district. I thought to myself, overconfidently, “I can teach at an urban school in Nashville.” As you have probably guessed, I was wrong and on the first day of teaching 7th grade English at one of the most impoverished schools in the city, I was in for a reality check. So, I had to act fast; I had to think. How could I engage my students, stop disruptions and actually teach? I had to meet my students’ needs first and that came with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, so I created a competitive teaching model that made my classroom a community filled with teamwork and dedi- cation. It changed my teaching career forever. All students should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully embark upon their chosen path in life. We have connected with some of the best minds on this subject who will guide educators as they endeavor to engage all students in their schools/classrooms. l l A s n a e #AllM