Friday, April 19, 2013

Poverty and Class

This week, we read about at-risk students and how to utilize teaching methods to better cater to these students. In particular, I was assigned to class/poverty. My partner and I read 3 articles, as well as Ormrod's textbook pages about ways to assist students living in poverty. 
The first author, Jean Anyon, is a professor of social and educational policy, and the second author, R.W. Connell, is a sociologist. The third is written by Beth Lindsay Templeton. I believe all three authors of these articles/books were addressing anyone and everyone who would listen, but especially teachers and school staff. They seem to assume that these high-risk students who live in poverty are capable of being successful students with the proper support from their school and teachers. One specific example from Templeton's book states that, “Teachers who can appreciate the diversity in their students and help classmates be empathetic toward one another create environments that enhance and encourage learning by everyone, teachers and students alike.” R.W. Connell talks more about why students living in poverty do not achieve as much as other students, while the unknown author speaks about how we, as teachers, can assist these students and guide them to success.
            I agree that with the support provided by teachers and other school staff, high-risk students do have a better chance at being successful; however, I also believe that there are other influences in a child’s life. Even if you, as a teacher, do everything you can to help and support these students, they still may not be successful due to outside stimuli. I think that these authors are not saying that with support these children will always be successful, but they do present a compelling argument for providing them with the resources they need. A couple of examples from Templeton’s book excerpt were to arrange the beginning of the day so that if a student is late, they do not miss any crucial information/instruction. Another tip was to keep the students’ situations confidential, creating a trusting and safe environment for the students and parents.
            I thought these articles were different from Ormrod’s text because I felt that these were slightly more real and raw. I thought that Ormrod’s, for whatever reason, seemed more disconnected from reality. She mentioned circumstances these students might deal with and tips for teaching for success in high-risk students, but the overall tone didn’t feel that negative. I think, especially Templeton's excerpt, presented more real-life examples that made the situations of the students seem more “real” and it hit home a bit more that situations like those actually occur. 

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