When discussing the inner city student, it is a standard assumption that this child has little in the way of background knowledge. Perhaps this is true. The next assertion that is made is that it is impossible to teach such a child higher order thinking skills or complex concepts unless the teacher is willing to spend weeks, months, or even years laying the ground work. This, of course, leads to the notion that teachers have to dumb down material, teach below grade level, and lower expectations because the effort to complete the latter seems far too harrowing. There is a rapid spiral downward. Perhaps a change in perspective is what's really needed. Perhaps teachers need to switch from the idea that the problems are too great and complex to overcome to one where they revel in the fact that they have an opportunity to beginning with an absolutely fresh, clean canvas to create an uncharted masterpiece. Perhaps we need to expect MORE not less of this student. When our choices are endless, their rewards and joys can be infinite. It would certainly create a win-win situation. This is the success I am seeking.
As with any success, it's all in the planning. Teaching is no different. Deliberate planning of a unit such as this, exposes a teacher to reflection at the onset so that mistakes can be avoided, individual needs of students can be met, and creativity can be incorporated. It helps the teacher align the unit with district curriculum demands and as well as state standards. It also influences a teacher to seek new and exciting materials that he or she might not otherwise have considered. With all this in place, the teacher can actually enjoy the teaching process as it unfolds in the classroom.