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Published in: Multicultural Education, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2005.


Every educator has a handful of students who perpetually push his or her buttons. The challenge of creating a strong, nurturing classroom community is especially difficult if you are an urban school teacher. Not because children in an urban area are inherently more wild or difficult to teach. Rather, there is a mythology about how to best "control" urban children that infects many city schools. This article discusses ways to control classrooms in urban schools and contains the following sections: (1) The Carrot and the Stick--Behaviorism in the Urban Classroom; (2) The "Uncontrolled" Urban Class; (3) Classroom Mantras; (4) I Will Treat My Students the Way I Would Want My Own Child Treated; (5) Be Critical of What You Are Teaching/ Kick the Curriculum Up a Notch; (6) Pick Your Battles; (7) Create Another Identity for the Child; (8) Assumptions about Race; (9) Finding Joy at School; (10) Every Day Is Another Chance; (11) Don't Ask Kids To Do What We Don't Ask Adults To Do; and (12) "Something Bigger".

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