The Difficulties Teaching in Ghetto Schools


Are the difficulties of being a ghetto school teacher causing a shortage of teachers?


ghetto schools


There is a major shortage of teachers in ghetto schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, schools in American cities have the most teaching vacancies compared to schools in the suburbs and rural areas. What is it that keeps teachers from wanting to work in ghetto schools?


While it is not always true in all districts, there are certain challenges that most teachers in ghetto schools face. To understand the difficulties of being a ghetto school teacher, you must understand the students they work with.


Ghetto school systems are plagued with many social and demographic issues that are typically not present in most suburban schools. These issues continue to prove to be a challenge for the teachers, which make it difficult teaching in a ghetto school.


  • Schools are densely populated which means overcrowded classrooms.
  • There is a high level of families in poverty.
  • There is also a high population for immigrants which creates language barriers.
  • Poor health
  • Higher student mobility rates


When students do not perform well on standardized testing and are below grade level, this is not a reflection of poor teaching abilities Unfortunately, this is a misconception. It can be attributed to several factors, including the state of school readiness and stress outside the classroom. These social and demographic factors can be intimidating to teachers. Teaching a classroom crowded with students who are facing issues such as these requires the most dedicated and committed teachers.


Ghetto schools have a reputation for being dangerous. Ghetto high school fights are common which put many people in danger every day.


But even if you solve the problem of hiring teachers, there is still the problem with retention. Once teachers are hired in a ghetto school, they are getting mixed messages about initiatives and are often not receiving constant training and support.


There is a real need for teachers in ghetto schools but unfortunately, there are also many issues these schools face that keep teachers away. To be able to teach in these schools, teachers must have passion and dedication.


What do you think we could do to improve the state of ghetto schools in this country? Let’s discuss it here in the comments or you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Be sure to check out my book, Underground Stories.




Ahram, Roey, Adeyemi Stembridge, Edward Fergus, and Pedro Noguera. “Framing Urban School        Challenges: The Problems to Examine When Implementing Response to Intervention.” RTI Action Network. Accessed August 24, 2017.“Urban Schools: What is an Urban School?” Accessed August 24, 2017.

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by Rosalie H. Contino, PhD