I often get asked why I teach in an urban school.  Many of my suburban teacher friends even say they don’t know “how” I do it every day.  And true, it is difficult work.  Never the less, I really do believe it is my calling to be an urban teacher.  I often think if people only knew why I became a teacher, they would have more respect for me as professional.  To make it easier for people to understand, maybe I should just carry with me a Proud Urban Educator card that states my mission and my inspiration statement.

Well, here is what my Proud Urban Educator Card would say:

Front of card:

Lana Gundy, Proud Urban Teacher

Mission: To give under privileged youth options for their future.

Back of card:

My InspirationFor many years I lived in poverty with my single mother.  I went to several different schools in several different communities.  Throughout my journey in education, I was blessed to have teachers who believed in me. They taught me I really could accomplish anything I put my mind to.  With the guidance of these great teachers, I was able to see I had several options for my future.  They would be proud to know I was able break the cycle of poverty by earning my college degree.  I could not have done it without them!

Well, heck maybe I should just post this right outside of my classroom.  This way everyone that passes my room will know exactly why I choose to be an urban teacher.  And on those difficult days, when I start to doubt if I am making a difference, I can step outside my room and read this to remind myself of the teachers who inspired me to change my life.

I proudly teach in the Peoria Public School District #150 in Peoria, Illinois.  I have five years experience teaching reading, social studies, language arts and science at the middle school level.  I have spent my last three years teaching fourth grade in a primary school.   I have some coaching experience as well.  And, I am so excited to begin working as an enrichment teacher beginning this school year! This is a brand new position in my district.  This position will focus on increasing higher level thinking among our students.  This position is a truly innovative way that my district is trying to close the learning gap!  Bravo to my school district!

What about you?   What kind of Educator Card would you carry?  Come on urban teachers; tell me what makes you stay motivated to teach in the toughest schools?  I can’t wait to hear from you!

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