Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids Minds

Report
Teaching with Poverty in Mind:
What Being Poor Does to Kids Minds and What
Schools Can Do About It
by Eric Jensen
Teacher Study Group
Summer 2012
TEN MODULES OF LEARNING
1.
Review PowerPoint slides 1-17 relating to A Framework for Understanding
Poverty- Ruby Payne
 Post a response to both case studies, and the what children living in
poverty might need to know about the
” hidden rules” of school
2.
Watch and respond to PBS Video: People Like Us “Tammy’s Story”
Read the following chapters, respond to the posted question,
post one I like or I wonder of your own, and then respond to another
participants post.
3.
Chapter 1: Understanding the Nature of Poverty
 Which of the six types of poverty are most prevalent at MCS?
3. Chapter 2: How Poverty Affects Behavior and Academic Performance
 How do we as educators need to be mindful of our behavior when working with
students living in poverty?
4. Chapter 3: Embracing the Mind-Set of Change
 What are the implications of neural plasticity and gene expression for educators
and students? How do we convince others?
5. Chapter 4: Schoolwide Success Factors
 What role does accountability play in the SHARE model? Discuss what we could do to
to strengthen SHARE at Massena CSD.
6. Chapter 5: Classroom-level Success Factors
 What is the purpose of building hope in the classroom?
7. Chapter 6: Instructional Light and Magic
 Discuss one or two strategies that Mr. Hawkins used that you see as valuable.
8. Read and Respond to the articles on motivation
9. Submit response paper to the essential questions (3-5 pages) along
with timesheet by July 31st.
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:
How can having a framework of poverty help us
better understand our students living in
poverty?
Crosswalk: Ruby Payne’s work
How does poverty affect our students’ learning,
and what can we do as educators to ensure
their success ?
Lessons from brain expert: Eric Jensen
Crosswalk: Ruby Payne’s work
A Framework for Understanding
Poverty
Situational Poverty- a lack of
resources due to a particular event
such as death, chronic illness, or
divorce
Generational Poverty- Having been
in poverty for at least two
generations. Characteristics can
appear sooner if the family lives
with others who are from
generational poverty
Ruby Payne’s key points to
understanding poverty
• Poverty is relative
• Poverty occurs in all races
• Payne’s work is based on patterns
and all patterns have exceptions.
CASE STUDY: ONE
A young elementary school
teacher decided to splurge and
buy her each of her students a
movie pass for Christmas.
Discuss how this teacher’s lack of
understanding of poverty impacted a
few of her students.
WE VALUE WHAT WE KNOW
Lower Class
Middle Class
Upper Class
Survival
Work
Political,
Relationships
Achievement
Financial,
Entertainment
Material Security
Social Connections
CASE STUDY: TWO
Each year a retired teacher donates money to an
elementary school to be used for student(s) who don’t have
the needed supplies. The principal was aware of a fifth grade
girl whose father was on disability, and did not have a mom
in the picture. She called the dad and asked if it would be
alright to take the young girl to the mall to do some backto-school shopping. A successful trip to JC Penney’s netted
two outfits, a pair of Nike Sneakers, socks, underwear and a
book bag full of paper, pencils, pens, crayons…etc.
How did the principal’s middle class
values affect her actions?
Individuals bring with them the hidden
rules of the class in which they were
raised.
Schools operate from middle
class values and norms.
Discussion:
What are some of the hidden
rules of school?
As educators we must
teach students who
live in poverty there
are two sets of rules.
PBS: People Like Us
Tammy’s Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8VXrHeLqBA
Two things which help a person move out
of poverty are:
Education & Relationships
Four reasons one leaves
poverty are:
1.
Too painful to stay
2.
Vision or a goal
3.
Key relationship
4.
Special talent or skill
To move from poverty to
middle class, one must give up
relationships for achievement
Defines poverty as
C-M-R
a chronic condition
affecting mind, body,
and soul resulting from
multiple adverse
synergistic risk factors
Chapter One
Understanding the Nature of Poverty
The Six Faces of Poverty
Intensity
Absolute vs. Relative Poverty
Duration
Generational vs. Situational Poverty
Context
Urban vs. Rural Poverty
Complex array of risk factors which
adversely affect those in a multitude
of ways
Four primary are:
Emotional and social challenges
Acute chronic stressors
Cognitive lag
Health and safety issues
Action Steps: Chapter One
Deepen staff understanding
debunk the myths...
Empathy rather than pity
caring and high expectations
Chapter Two: How poverty affects behavior
and academic performance
Old Paradigm:
Brains stay the same.
New Understanding:
Brains can and do change
everyday.
But if the experiences stay the
same, so will the brain.
What we do as educators,
makes a difference!
Chapter Two:
How poverty affects behavior and academic performance
Infants are
hardwired for only
six emotions: joy,
anger, surprise,
disgust, sadness,
and fear
Emotions that need to be taught
include:
Humility
Forgiveness
Empathy
Optimism
Compassion
Sympathy
Patience
Shame
Cooperation
Gratitude
Chapter Two:
How poverty affects behavior and academic performance
Kids in poverty get less attunement
Attunement is the establishment of a
positive , reciprocal relationship with their
primary caregiver
This “quality time” provides the basis for
learning non hard-wired socially
appropriate emotions
All students have three strong
“relational” forces with them that
drive their school behaviors.
(Page 20)
If we criticize, hold
negative attitudes, and
use sarcasm as
classroom discipline ,
the fear and stress areas
of the student’s brain
will be activated. This
area alters the student’s
ability to think.
Embody respect
Embed social skills
Be inclusive
Evidence suggests that poverty
adversely alters the trajectory of
the developing reading brain.
Action steps:
Build core skills by explicitly
teaching vocabulary, problem
solving, sequencing ,social skills,
and hopefulness
The better the school environment
is, the less the child’s early risk
factors will impair his or her
academic success.
What can we do to ensure a positive school
environment at MCS?
Chapter Three: Embracing the Mindset of Change
Nature,
Nurture,
Gene expression
Brains are designed to change.
IQ is not fixed but variable.
Action steps:
What’s our mantra?
Is it …Kids can change, and we can
make it happen!
Chapter Four: School Wide Success Factors
Support of the Whole Child
Hard Data
Accountability
Relationship Building
Enrichment Mind-set
Chapter Five: Classroom level success factors
Champion Mind-set
Hopeful Effort
Attention Skills
Memory
Processing Kills
Sequencing Skills
Arts, Athletics and Advanced Placement
Cooperative Learning Activity:
Articles on Motivation
Creating Conditions Where Students Motivate Themselves
By Terry Heaney
Motivating Unmotivated Students
By Douglas B. Reeves
How do we persuade students from
poverty that school can be personally
productive and meaningful?
Engaged learning!
Strategies which engage students to participate
emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally
Emotion al Punctuation is a
“Memory Marker”
Event + positive emotions= better memories
Verbal affirmations, smiles, physical gestures, head nodding, positive
comments, positive music, celebrations, use of preset celebration
rituals
A moment with
Eric Jensen
http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Authors/Eric-Jensen.aspx?id=603899782001
TODAY’S ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:
How can having a framework of poverty help us
better understand our students living in
poverty?
Crosswalk: Ruby Payne’s work
How does poverty affect our students’ learning,
and what can we do as educators to ensure
their success ?
Lessons from brain expert: Eric Jensen
Suggested Reading:

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