The Challenges Of Students Living In Poverty In Urban Schools

1367 Words 6 Pages
Students living in poverty face trials and circumstances that are un-relatable and unimaginable to most outsiders. Their strength and resiliency to adversity is something to be acknowledged, however many challenges must be addressed within a school setting. Because of their unique experiences, students in urban schools bring funds of knowledge with them that must be utilized and unique challenges that must be overcome.
“Tough and Resilient” were the two words my CMT, Mr. Louis, used to describe the middle school students at Argentine Middle School. These students have a difficult life out of school, living in poverty and neighborhoods plagued with violence. He explained that over the years they have been able to adapt and overcome many of
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What I learned is that most of the parents of these students, primarily mothers because many of them live only with their mother, is that they are out of the home because they are working. Many of them working more than one job. Listening to the phone calls being made regarding absent students, the mothers were at work. One of them unaware her son hadn’t made it to school because she was only able to stop by home in between shifts, with just enough time to wake him up, but not enough time to make sure he got on the bus. This highlights a huge problem within our nation’s culture as a whole, "employment does not guarantee an income above the poverty level" (Children 's Defense Fund, 2014, p.22). Many of the student 's I got to know rarely see their parent(s) or guardian, not because they didn’t care about them, but because they were working two or more jobs to try and make ends …show more content…
The best option for students to escape poverty is through education. Louis’s suggestion to his colleagues is to be confident in them and their abilities and adapt the curriculum to meet their interests and needs. He explained, “A lot of teachers did well in school and therefore expect school to be a positive experience for everyone just like it was for them, so they don’t adapt to kids that don’t use it for education but more as a safe place to be or get attention.” He stressed the need to adapt for what the students need. Being in this classroom, and hearing of the students’ abuse, neglect, and loneliness, I can appreciate desperation for teacher adaptiveness. If they cannot relate, they should utilize other adults in the building that might have better knowledge of the student or neighborhood in which these students live. Reaching out to a staff member or community advocate that grew up in the neighborhood could offer insight and promote a better understanding of what the student is going through. Building relationships with students, incorporating real-life situations and interests into the classroom discussions, and understanding the student 's funds of knowledge are important steps to take in order to engage the student and promote academic achievement and hopefully overcome

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