Last week we had a guest speaker, Bonnie, talking on poverty and the education system. I think that her words resonated so clearly because she had lived what she was talking about. It will stick with me better than if I read about a similar situation in a textbook.
I believe that this is where equity versus equality comes into play. I can’t imagine that treating a hungry child who may not know where they will sleep that night the exact same as a well-fed, well-rested child. A blog I recently read talked about children in poverty starting at the beginning of a race with a trap on, while other kids are starting half way with no trap. We expect those students in poverty to just deal with it and try harder than anyone else to achieve the same results. I do not think this is possible.
This is all a new area of interest for me, and I have not quite been able to process these types of situations in my own classroom. However, it is something I want to keep on my mind and keep working to be aware of so that I can give the appropriate care to all my students, but to make sure they get exactly what you need.
What would be some things you would take on to help students living in poverty in your classroom?