Amy Metzler is a math coach at Bing Elementary School.
One thing I’ve learned while teaching at a high-needs school is that you have to build trust and a relationship with the students first and foremost. They need to know that you care about them, that you love them, that you’re here for them every day.
The most rewarding aspect of teaching here is seeing the students get excited about their learning. I think sometimes there’s a stigma that students at high-needs schools don’t have as great of a desire to learn as students at low-needs schools, but the students here really want to learn and are excited about their learning.
The advice I’d give to someone who is thinking about going to teach at a high-needs school is to be flexible, because not everything you try is going to work the first time. You have to have the persistence to try something else and the passion to not walk away.
Most importantly, you need to realize you’re not in it alone. To be successful, you need to be willing to lean on your fellow teachers and administrators. It’s a family at any school you teach at, but I think at a high-needs school you really lean on each other when you need support.
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