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Eric Jensen Teaching With Poverty

In the United States more than sixteen million children live in families with income below the federal poverty level (NCCP, 2014). Parents working minimum wage jobs are often not aware of how this affects children’s academic performance and behavior. Children’s academic performance can be affected by their behavior, emotional and social challenges, and lack of parental support. Parents often lack support because they constantly have to work long hours and cannot keep up with their children’s education. It is important that we advocate parents into being more involve in their children’s education because it can make a difference.

Loneliness, rejection and distance are emotions that can affect a child’s behavior and social skills in a school setting. Poverty should not only be defined by its economic disadvantages, but also by the deprivation of social belonging, cultural identity, and education. Although poverty in the United States has been reduced throughout the years, it has not been able to escape (Engle & Black, 2008). The effect of poverty on a child’s development and educational outcomes usually develops early on in their lives.

It has been difficult for young children and families to escape this economic deficit and that is why it has become a cycle. Once a family is living in poverty, it is difficult to move up in the economy preventing them to move out of poverty. Poverty and low academic achievements have been linked because the network has shown that low-income children have more behavioral problems, lower cognitive and academic performance, and are at an increased risk of dropping out of school (National Institute of Child Health And Human Development Early Child Care Research Network, 2005).

Children are often influenced by their environment and social surroundings which causes them to have difficulty focusing in school. Parents who have a minimum wage job spend a lot of hours working making children feel as if they don’t have the support of their parents. These children may feel isolated because their parents are not around to help them with homework; they can’t attend school events or parent-teacher conferences. Parents who are living under a low-income have to work harder to provide for their children and it can be a struggle to balance both work and spending time with their children.

People, who work minimum wage jobs or never graduated influence children who live in, impoverish neighborhoods. Most of the time these people are their parents, family members or close friends. A percentage of children live in a neighborhood where thirty percent of its residents have income below the federal law. African American and Latino children have the highest percentage in poverty in the United States. Parents are affected by living in poverty because they are under a lot of stress. Parents with an inadequate income have to worry about paying bills, buying food, utilities, clothing and etc.

This stress and alienation are connected with having to juggle finances and it leads to lack of attention tours their children. Children who do not have the support of their parents are more likely to misbehave because they are looking for the attention that they don’t receive at home in school. Children who have a healthy relationship with their parents are better behaved in school than those who are insecure and unattached (Blair, 2008). Children who are raised in poverty face many challenges every day than those who are raised in an affluent household.

Low-income families often have limited education, reducing their ability to provide a responsive stimulating environment for their children (Coleman, 1990). Affluent families often expose their children to learning environments where they can gain experience from. Impoverish families tend to use more harsh parenting styles that are based on parental control rather than being interactive that promote emotional development and social competence (Steinberg & Elmen, 1989). Impoverish families are exposed to less resources than other affluent families.

Children who have good communication with their parents are capable of participating in class, are more emotionally stable, have good social skills and are better behaved in school. Children who come from impoverish families are often being criticized because of their behavior. In school they may feel as if they don’t belong and may only associate with children of the same social class. This allows impoverish children to have low self-esteem by believing that they are not as good as their peers.

Children tend to compare themselves to the children who come from affluent families because they get better grades, have supportive parents, they dress better and are more likely to become successful. These children have difficulties expressing their feelings and so they act out on it and that is their way of showing their anger and frustration. As a teacher, it is important to make sure that our students feel comfortable enough to speak upon their feelings. Parents do not realize the effect they have on their child’s education.

They often ork too much that they are not able to help them with their homework or socially interact with them. Children may feel as if they don’t have anyone to talk about how they are doing in school, what they learned about, and upcoming events. They can begin to feel excluded from the school environment. A lot of children that grow up in poverty tend to drop out of school and begin working a minimum wage job. This is how the poverty cycle keeps on throughout life. If they feel as if no one cares about them that is the attitude they will possess and act upon.

This is the attitude that ultimately gets a lot of these children in trouble. Often teachers have a hard time dealing with students who misbehave in the classroom. Eric Jensen, the author of the book Teaching with Poverty states that, “Some teachers may interpret students’ emotional and social deficits as a lack of respect or manners, but it is more accurate and helpful to understand that the students come to school with a narrower range of appropriate emotional responses than we expect. ” Sometimes as teachers, we do not know what a student goes through at home that affects their behavior and emotions.

Because of the issues going on at home children are impacted emotionally and psychologically, which has prevented them from learning. The things they learn in school don’t stick with them because they are not focused on what is going on in the classroom. With the stress being put on parents, they may need the extra help from the education department. The education department can fund aftercare programs in schools so that students can have more of a variety of interests. For students who are growing up in poverty do not have the privilege of experiencing a lot of new things, funded programs can open up new opportunities for them.

The federal government should be open to the things that can possibly interest children in the modern world and not limit their resources. If the federal government were to create programs to help students in poverty do their homework, keep them interacting in different activities and exposing them to new experiences. These students will be encouraged to come to school and learn everyday despite of what is going on at home. It is beneficial for the parents because they will be able to work those extra hours at their jobs. As a future teacher I suggest that workshops should be held in order to educate us n how to deal with students who live in poverty.

A teacher must understand that a student who comes from a lower economic status have a lot of disadvantages. Teachers can build a stronger relationship with these students; have high expectations for them and understand that these children are more sensitive to deal with than others. Teachers should know how to deal with these students in order to take actions that will be effective. I know that the involvement of the people that can actually make a difference can impact the lives of these children. These children can continue on their success with great confidence.

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