Best Practices to Serve Low-Income People

“Teachers have to be parents, priests, lawyers, clothes-washers, babysitters, and a bunch of other things” if they work with low-income children, said Nathan Saunders of the Washington Teacher’s Union.  “IMPACT takes none of those roles into account, so it can penalize you just for teaching in a high-needs school.”

I keep asking myself: is it possible to be effective teacher & still have a personal life, healthy boundaries, and your own family? Someone has to have done it without the lengths of Freedom Writers & I want to know how!

I’ve encountered many people in my life who say, “We were poor growing up, but we never knew it.”  That’s the experience I want to create in my family and through my work. I feel so strongly deep in my heart that you don’t have to be rich to have a meaningful, fulfilling life.  So how can we make that experience accessible for students and adult learners who are socially excluded?

Social inclusion is a lot more than just increasing the wages that people earn.  People who are engaged in graduate level education, for example, may not have much income but have access to a wide variety of civic, social & cultural activities.  We as a society invest in them because higher education has made a strong argument for the benefits to society.  How can educators make intelligent investments in their time for low-income learners without breaking their own bank?

Breast Feeding African American
“Breastfeeding Low Income” from nursing.advanceweb.com

Step one is to normalize breastfeeding.  These tips for Nurse Practitioners are useful for anyone working with low-income parents.

The Urban Institute stresses the importance of high quality early childhood education for better outcomes in education, employment, and criminality.  But what about the half of low-income children under 6 cared for at home?  Bottom line: whoever is caring for kids needs to turn off the TV, interact with them, and read to them.

three young friends
“three young friends” by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com

Here are a few tips that can help educators create social inclusion for youth in low-income familiesLivestrong.com actually provides a wealth of information on how to create your best life with a low-income.

This is an interesting academic paper on effectively serving low-income fathers of color.

DeVry University has also recently published promising practices they have implementined to serve low-income, first generation college students.

This is an interesting firsthand article about discussing social class on a college campus. If there’s one thing low-income people know, it’s that talk is cheap!  Discussions and celebrations of diversity are one of the best way to create strong, fulfilling relationships–in education and life.

Want to read more? http://www.livestrong.com/article/273042-how-to-create-inclusion-for-youth-in-low-income-families/#ixzz1RYrncTYF

What tips & resources have you found to more effectively serve low-income individuals and families?

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