Poverty is the single greatest threat to children's well-being. Poverty can impede children's ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional and behavioral problems. More than 16 million children in the United States live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level of $23,550 a year for a family of four.
I am currently reading Eric Jensen's Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind. This book is all about engagement as the key factor in the academic success of students living in poverty. Jensen shares smart, purposeful engagement strategies that all teachers can use to expand student's knowledge, increase motivation and build deep understanding of content.
I'm going to share my notes and thoughts as I read this book. If you have any input or comments, please share.
A little inspiration from my new book study:
Research tells us that quality teaching can completely offset the effects poverty has on students' academic performance.
A few statistics from a study of more than 81,000 U.S. high school students living in poverty:
- fewer than 2 percent said they were never bored in school
- more than 30 percent said they did not interact with their teachers
- 75 percent said they were bored because the material being taught wasn't interesting
To keep students in school we need to make our classrooms relevant, engaging, and full of affirming relationships. If your students are not engaged, it is time to make a positive change in your classroom.
Jensen says these powerful words...
"It is not easy: This process will require you to upgrade your repertoire, roll up your sleeves, get a fiercely positive attitude, and charge ahead into your job. We can make a difference."
When students see you teach, they feel your feelings. As teachers, we can positively affect students' states of mind simply by being positive. If you enjoy your job, show your passion. Passion gets students curious, excited and inspired. Come to work excited every day.
Every student in your school or in your classroom deserves a great day every day. Jensen says, "Miracles will happen in your classroom when you build your dreams bigger than your challenges."
What are you doing to make a difference?