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In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged s In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students. Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain's very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students' resilience, self-esteem, and character. Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Teaching with Poverty in Mind reveals * What poverty is and how it affects students in school; * What drives change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student's brain); * Effective strategies from those who have succeeded and ways to replicate those best practices at your own school; and * How to engage the resources necessary to make change happen. Too often, we talk about change while maintaining a culture of excuses. We can do better. Although no magic bullet can offset the grave challenges faced daily by disadvantaged children, this timely resource shines a spotlight on what matters most, providing an inspiring and practical guide for enriching the minds and lives of all your students.


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In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged s In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students. Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain's very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students' resilience, self-esteem, and character. Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Teaching with Poverty in Mind reveals * What poverty is and how it affects students in school; * What drives change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student's brain); * Effective strategies from those who have succeeded and ways to replicate those best practices at your own school; and * How to engage the resources necessary to make change happen. Too often, we talk about change while maintaining a culture of excuses. We can do better. Although no magic bullet can offset the grave challenges faced daily by disadvantaged children, this timely resource shines a spotlight on what matters most, providing an inspiring and practical guide for enriching the minds and lives of all your students.

30 review for Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I have to chuckle when I read some of the reviews that state there is not much new in this book. I have observed in classrooms where the majority of students are from poverty and this information may be common knowledge (a fact wIth which I strongly disagree); it is definitely not common practice. The biggest takeaway for me was the emotional keyboard that Jensen describes on page 18. Many educators are angered when struggling students don't display some of the characteristics that need to be tau I have to chuckle when I read some of the reviews that state there is not much new in this book. I have observed in classrooms where the majority of students are from poverty and this information may be common knowledge (a fact wIth which I strongly disagree); it is definitely not common practice. The biggest takeaway for me was the emotional keyboard that Jensen describes on page 18. Many educators are angered when struggling students don't display some of the characteristics that need to be taught, like empathy or compassion. We typically expect children to know how to cooperate, share, and take turns. As Jensen states, if there is a behavior you expect in your classroom, you need to be teaching it. Jensen also writes about hope; something all teachers need to communicate constantly. Jon Saphier teaches us to give three expectation messages that will assist us in this: "This is important! You can do it! I won't give up on you!" I have been in a school in which I've witnessed many of Jensen's suggestions being implemented - Success Academy - Bronx 2. There are few minutes wasted and students are attentive and learning. They are being readied for college the minute they begin kindergarten. I was not impressed with Jensen's ending; I disagreed with some of his comments regarding Mr. Hawkins' class. Specifically his use of the last five minutes to do homework. Research suggests that the beginnings and endings of a class, much like the first and last items in a list, are what students most easily recall. We need to be doing something powerful in those crucial moments. Class endings should be used for formative assessment, summarizers that give us and the students an idea of what was mastered and what was not. I would recommend this book as mandatory reading for any teacher/administrator.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book is AWESOME! This is my second year teaching at a Title I school. (I also am active in serving the homeless community, and am a huge social activist when it comes to the rights of the impoverished.) I so wish everyone, everywhere, would be required to read even just the first couple of chapters of this book. The neuroscience involved is absolutely amazing -- there is a detailed, in-depth analysis of the effects of poverty on the brain beginning from the time of conception until when chil This book is AWESOME! This is my second year teaching at a Title I school. (I also am active in serving the homeless community, and am a huge social activist when it comes to the rights of the impoverished.) I so wish everyone, everywhere, would be required to read even just the first couple of chapters of this book. The neuroscience involved is absolutely amazing -- there is a detailed, in-depth analysis of the effects of poverty on the brain beginning from the time of conception until when children enter school, and why they are already developmentally delayed before ever setting foot in the classroom. There is also a multitude of tips and strategies for dealing with tough kids that are research-based and easy to understand. I read this book over the course of a 4-week Title I training and have started implementing some of the strategies, and am already seeing some subtle changes. I know it takes time, and I also know not to give up. I expect to see more gradual changes as time goes on. I wish this book would be required reading for every fool politician that makes detrimental changes to our already unfair school system. Teachers AND students need to be empowered if we are to see real change any time soon. 5 stars for Mr. Jensen -- I can't wait to read more from him!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I read this book for a class. The discussions we had related to this book were so depressing. How can we effect change? There are so many things that need to be done to help our students. We need to completely overhaul the education system in America, we need to provide much-needed services to families living in poverty, we need more school counselors to help students. We need educators to understand the intricacies of poverty and how that affects our students walking in the door every morning. I read this book for a class. The discussions we had related to this book were so depressing. How can we effect change? There are so many things that need to be done to help our students. We need to completely overhaul the education system in America, we need to provide much-needed services to families living in poverty, we need more school counselors to help students. We need educators to understand the intricacies of poverty and how that affects our students walking in the door every morning. We need politicians to understand what it is truly like to be a teacher or other educator. They just don't get it. I think Jensen provides many good strategies to help our impoverished students. The whole district needs to get on board with making change. We also need to make sure we take the time to study what will work and implement it as efficiently as possible. I feel like I am going on a rant on a book review. I must stop. :-)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Theriault

    There was some good stuff, but there was also some stuff that made me roll my eyes and think the author has been out of the classroom for far to long. For example, he has a whole section on "getting kids IEP's" like it just takes a snap of the fingers. Reality is its takes several years of data collection (wait to fail model!) and even with an IEP, in made high poverty schools, kids aren't serviced. For example, I have one student right now who is seeing 4 different speech pathologists to get hi There was some good stuff, but there was also some stuff that made me roll my eyes and think the author has been out of the classroom for far to long. For example, he has a whole section on "getting kids IEP's" like it just takes a snap of the fingers. Reality is its takes several years of data collection (wait to fail model!) and even with an IEP, in made high poverty schools, kids aren't serviced. For example, I have one student right now who is seeing 4 different speech pathologists to get his time in, each one gives me different reports on how he is doing. Also he talks about how kids who take AP classes are more likely to go onto college and be successful, and then states that getting kids into AP classes is a way to help kids in poverty. What he doesn't mention is that many schools vet their AP programs and only allow kids in with recommendations from previous teachers, meaning that only the "best and the brightest" are in these programs to begin with. There were some good recommendations (that ironically we are doing the opposite of) such as increasing PE time and music/art. Also loved the sections about giving teachers time to analyze MEANINGFUL data and plan instructional strategies (this would require common assessments).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michellena

    You ought to see the notes I took when reading this book! Our school district (and probably community) has a 50% poverty rate, so this literally 'hits home' for me. Our awesome HS principal had the staff read the book this spring and participate in book clubs. This summer we are fortunate enough to have a full-day workshop with the author. I think it will be life-changing for some of these kids if their teachers and school staff understand them better and use new methods to help them succeed. I You ought to see the notes I took when reading this book! Our school district (and probably community) has a 50% poverty rate, so this literally 'hits home' for me. Our awesome HS principal had the staff read the book this spring and participate in book clubs. This summer we are fortunate enough to have a full-day workshop with the author. I think it will be life-changing for some of these kids if their teachers and school staff understand them better and use new methods to help them succeed. I learned so much that I will use when I teach my little Sunday schoolers, youth group, and when I interact daily with these wonderful, but financially disadvantaged, kids.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Ward

    This book is probably more of a 3.5 but I went ahead and bumped it up to four stars since I felt it was worthwhile reading. The book is written for administrators looking to make changes within their schools and to better understand poverty. However, it was beneficial to read as a teacher. I wouldn't say it was earth shattering information and of course it quotes tons of research which doesn't make for the most entertaining read. Here are my big takeaways: - The brain of a child living in poverty This book is probably more of a 3.5 but I went ahead and bumped it up to four stars since I felt it was worthwhile reading. The book is written for administrators looking to make changes within their schools and to better understand poverty. However, it was beneficial to read as a teacher. I wouldn't say it was earth shattering information and of course it quotes tons of research which doesn't make for the most entertaining read. Here are my big takeaways: - The brain of a child living in poverty actually develops differently, which can place them to a disadvantage. -A child in poverty has different response mechanisms -As a school, we must meet student's basic needs before we can expect academic gains -We (schools, teachers, administrators) must be willing to change. -Student's living in poverty need more enrichment, exposure to the arts and physical activity -Students may require additional support, but should be held to the same academic standards -Keeping students engaged is the best discipline strategy -When we consider how little time students spend actually at school vs. at home, we must MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT. We can't afford to let them have a bad day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nosilla

    Sorry, I just did not find any earth shattering revelations in Jensen's book. It's all been said before! If you have never read anything about kids in poverty, then, sure, the book can provide a basic foundation, but if you have ever been in a position to work with disadvantaged, at risk kids, then every page feels like "duh, you think!" The suggested solutions were superficial and oversimplified. Jensen suggests throughout the book that teachers and administrators need to stop making excuses, e Sorry, I just did not find any earth shattering revelations in Jensen's book. It's all been said before! If you have never read anything about kids in poverty, then, sure, the book can provide a basic foundation, but if you have ever been in a position to work with disadvantaged, at risk kids, then every page feels like "duh, you think!" The suggested solutions were superficial and oversimplified. Jensen suggests throughout the book that teachers and administrators need to stop making excuses, embrace the change, and implement a few action steps, all the while forgetting that many teachers and administrators are doing just that, sometimes with success, and sometimes without a successful outcome. For my money, I would not invest the time or money on this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alex Harker

    An eye-opening book about how to be a more compassionate and mindful teacher by taking socioeconomic status and wellbeing of students into account. Great food for thought for any educator.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kellie Wilson

    The part about baby's brains only being hardwired for 6 emotions stood out to me. Those emotions are joy, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, and fear. Learning about the attunement process for children under 3 and their need to develop gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy was helpful in understanding why teachers really need to focus on these emotions for students with deficits in these areas.The emotional keyboard was a helpful image: sympathy, patience, shame, cooperation, optimism, humility, The part about baby's brains only being hardwired for 6 emotions stood out to me. Those emotions are joy, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, and fear. Learning about the attunement process for children under 3 and their need to develop gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy was helpful in understanding why teachers really need to focus on these emotions for students with deficits in these areas.The emotional keyboard was a helpful image: sympathy, patience, shame, cooperation, optimism, humility, and compassion have to be taught. Also, the bit about lower SES students having trouble with delaying gratification rang true as this manifests itself in even very low stress environments. Jensen covers a lot of topics that teachers would need to have background knowledge on before really understanding the suggestions he gives in this book. I'm glad I read the "Growth Mindset" prior to reading this as it makes the research more meaningful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alecia

    I read this book prior to Eric Jensen, the author, coming for a day-long professional development opportunity at one of the school districts I work with. I like the organization of the book; each chapter includes a theory/research section as well as an action steps section. It's a fairly quick read and not overly-researchy. I think the author made 3 big points: (a) brains can change for the better (and for the worse); (b) there is a body of evidence about what strategies can impact student achiev I read this book prior to Eric Jensen, the author, coming for a day-long professional development opportunity at one of the school districts I work with. I like the organization of the book; each chapter includes a theory/research section as well as an action steps section. It's a fairly quick read and not overly-researchy. I think the author made 3 big points: (a) brains can change for the better (and for the worse); (b) there is a body of evidence about what strategies can impact student achievement, specifically related to executive function, attitudes, and student engagement; and (c) staff buy-in (consensus) is important. He is a very engaging presenter and models many of the strategies he includes in the book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Lampinen

    This book is written for an administrative audience- I feel it should be titled "Leading with..." Because it's misleading as is. The facts, statistics, and strategies are compelling but not anything new. I was particularly frustrated by Jensen's consistently disparaging comments about families in poverty- he has NO redeeming information about the genuine work, concern, and love caregivers have for their kids, regardless of circumstances. It's written with a very deficit-based view of families in This book is written for an administrative audience- I feel it should be titled "Leading with..." Because it's misleading as is. The facts, statistics, and strategies are compelling but not anything new. I was particularly frustrated by Jensen's consistently disparaging comments about families in poverty- he has NO redeeming information about the genuine work, concern, and love caregivers have for their kids, regardless of circumstances. It's written with a very deficit-based view of families in poverty and very savior focused view of educators. I disagree and am irritated by this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tahni

    This is an absolutely amazing resource for educators in all areas, but especially educators working in title 1 schools. It takes a plethora of research and a heavy dose of empathy and mixes it together to provide concrete, real world strategies for helping kids growing up in poverty to be successful. All of the research and strategies are accompanied by short narratives about a teacher who is burned out from seeing so much failure and stress in impoverished students as he works his way toward un This is an absolutely amazing resource for educators in all areas, but especially educators working in title 1 schools. It takes a plethora of research and a heavy dose of empathy and mixes it together to provide concrete, real world strategies for helping kids growing up in poverty to be successful. All of the research and strategies are accompanied by short narratives about a teacher who is burned out from seeing so much failure and stress in impoverished students as he works his way toward understanding them and how to help them, and concludes with a brief description of a day in his classroom to illustrate how to implement some of the strategies outlined. It also includes recommended reading for many of the subject matters addressed, providing ample opportunity for the reader to further their studies. I highly recommend this book to all educators, whether or not you're working in a title 1 school.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tiffiny

    There are a lot of very sad statistics put forth in this book. There really isn't a single aspect of one's life that poverty does not impact. From brain function to behavior, and beyond. It's staggering. I would have liked to have read this book at the beginning of my teaching career, 11.5 years ago. I've only worked at Title 1 schools in Southern California, so this book would have been very helpful. However, all schools that I have taught at have been very good at trying out new strategies to h There are a lot of very sad statistics put forth in this book. There really isn't a single aspect of one's life that poverty does not impact. From brain function to behavior, and beyond. It's staggering. I would have liked to have read this book at the beginning of my teaching career, 11.5 years ago. I've only worked at Title 1 schools in Southern California, so this book would have been very helpful. However, all schools that I have taught at have been very good at trying out new strategies to help all students succeed. A few good tips on how to change the tide and mindset of students and educators. (Some repetitive). As an art teacher, I feel that I often speak upon deaf ears, about the importance of the arts. However, this book mentions several times that the arts (and physical education) are super vital parts of a rounded curriculum and should 100% be included. I think parents should read this too, so that they understand that clothing their kids, feeding their kids, and getting school supplies for their kids, and taking their kids to the library and a museum every now and again, is way more important than the nice car and the iPhone...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Helpful, practical advice for teaching to students of low-income backgrounds. I’m glad to see that this is taught in many education/teacher training programs. There is a reason why “turnaround” schools are so celebrated, training educators at scale is an extreme challenge, but this book is certainly a piece of the puzzle.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth A. Mugi

    SUMMARY Teaching with poverty in mind is a small book with a huge scope and a lot of heart. It explores what poverty is, how it affects academic performance, the mindset we (teachers) need to embrace for change, how schools and teachers should adapt for these kind of students and then walks the reader through the new paradigm by outlining a typical class. It is a rigorously researched resource that's easy to read and highly accessible for all educators who have been placed in the difficult positi SUMMARY Teaching with poverty in mind is a small book with a huge scope and a lot of heart. It explores what poverty is, how it affects academic performance, the mindset we (teachers) need to embrace for change, how schools and teachers should adapt for these kind of students and then walks the reader through the new paradigm by outlining a typical class. It is a rigorously researched resource that's easy to read and highly accessible for all educators who have been placed in the difficult position of teaching SES students. WRITING This is probably one of the easiest and most accessible data heavy books I've ever read. Underneath each word I could feel Eric Jensen's passion for better education and a life beyond the 'cycle'. The facts (and statistics) are layered seamlessly with the text and there seemed to be no break in flow when Eric switched from an example focused section (practical tasks) to the arguments why (theory). Each chapter and section clearly outlines the reasons (and effectiveness) of the strategies endorsed in the book and then proceeds to show the reader ways of better using them. Also, Eric's writing builds. As I worked through Teaching with poverty in mind, I couldn't help but feel more excited with each page. By the end I felt as I could change lives in the classroom. As if these students were not beyond my reach and in fact could rise to the challenges of the professional world. For someone who has taught at-risk youth previously and found the experience completely soul destroying, I couldn't have been more elated to find something that offered me a way out of these classes of hell. CONTENT The content is, literally, impossible to summarise. I'm currently trying to outline the main findings of the book for my work colleagues, but it spans emails. Each page is content dense with essential information that can change the very way you think of teaching (let alone teaching SES students). For me the best thing about Teaching with poverty in mind was the strong case it made for artistic / creative activities to be incorporated into standard exercises. I love how it explored the limits of our current teaching paradigms and then presented a world where fun learning (learning through play) was not only enjoyable, but actually more effective than the traditional control and speak system. This book combined with Daniel H Pink's Drive (I'll be reviewing this soon too) are a heady source of empowerment for any teacher. The theories presented compliment each other and come to the same shocking conclusion: kids / people want to work and study, we just need to build activities for them to do and get out of their way. PRICE and BOOK DESIGN: Teaching with poverty in mind is a slim book with a gorgeous cover and a softback (great for train rides). It's easy to read and my copy has yellow running all through it. As far as textbooks go, it's not that expensive: $23.95 (US) and I bought mine via an on-line retailer for about AUD$15. It took a while to get here, but was well worth the wait. I think if you were purchasing this straight at retail, it would cost significantly more (for Australian audiences) and that might seem a little off-putting at first. However, this is one of those books that I would recommend at any price because I believe it has the potential to change the world. SUMMARY Teaching with Poverty in Mind is a powerful and impacting manuscript that shows how a different style of teaching can reach those who traditionally reject formal education. Eric Jensen argues for a new way of thinking about classroom management and interaction with the students that encourages drama, music and arts incorporated into the traditional rote subjects of math and English. This is a book I'd recommend for any teacher or parent who is looking for ways to engage uninterested students in a class.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This is a good book for understanding what happens, and what can happen, in the brain as it relates to effective teaching and learning, with a specific focus on just what is known at present about the extra challenges of poverty to academic success. This is a good book not just for teachers and education administrators, but for anyone who has the ability to influence childrens' lifetime outcomes. And I would just like to add that it appears particularly misguided (Ohio legislature) to cut arts a This is a good book for understanding what happens, and what can happen, in the brain as it relates to effective teaching and learning, with a specific focus on just what is known at present about the extra challenges of poverty to academic success. This is a good book not just for teachers and education administrators, but for anyone who has the ability to influence childrens' lifetime outcomes. And I would just like to add that it appears particularly misguided (Ohio legislature) to cut arts and athletics programs--a review of the literature clearly indicates that arts and athletics are in fact conduits for greater academic success.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michele Fay

    This is my second read of this book. Our former principal purchased a copy for every teacher and attempted to assign chapters with book discussions, but I don't know how many teachers read or discussed it. Now, a few years later, as a classroom teacher, I find the information all the more valuable. The descriptions of what a child in poverty experiences ring true for me when I think of children in my classroom. It also helps me to better understand the behavior of parents of these children and t This is my second read of this book. Our former principal purchased a copy for every teacher and attempted to assign chapters with book discussions, but I don't know how many teachers read or discussed it. Now, a few years later, as a classroom teacher, I find the information all the more valuable. The descriptions of what a child in poverty experiences ring true for me when I think of children in my classroom. It also helps me to better understand the behavior of parents of these children and their disengagement from their child's learning. I will probably keep coming back to this book as a reminder. Definitely recommended!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A great read for teachers trying to do better by students from poor neighborhoods and/or homes. This book provides a lot of data regarding the effects of poverty on brain development and gives numerous paths to help students affected by poverty achieve academic success. It puts the onus on school administration and teachers to make sure that they are prepared to accomodate students who, through no fault of their own, are not able to fit into the cookie-cutter expectations that we place on childr A great read for teachers trying to do better by students from poor neighborhoods and/or homes. This book provides a lot of data regarding the effects of poverty on brain development and gives numerous paths to help students affected by poverty achieve academic success. It puts the onus on school administration and teachers to make sure that they are prepared to accomodate students who, through no fault of their own, are not able to fit into the cookie-cutter expectations that we place on children. Jensen offers the teacher-readers ways to improve their pedagogy and prevent more students from falling through the cracks of our education systems.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    For teachers and/or administrators.. I especially respect Jensen's message (paraphrased): Stop making excuses about your school's number of low SES students and your high number of ELL students. There are specific changes your school can make to outperform other schools/districts... regardless of demographics. Will it be easy? no. Will it take work? yes. Is it your professional responsibility to be accountable for educating even the poor? YES! Read this book only if you are committed enough to m For teachers and/or administrators.. I especially respect Jensen's message (paraphrased): Stop making excuses about your school's number of low SES students and your high number of ELL students. There are specific changes your school can make to outperform other schools/districts... regardless of demographics. Will it be easy? no. Will it take work? yes. Is it your professional responsibility to be accountable for educating even the poor? YES! Read this book only if you are committed enough to make an educational impact on students.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I took a break from pleasure reading to do a little school reading. There is interesting data in this book to show that students' brains are capable of changing for both good and bad depending on what happens in classrooms. Much of what Jensen talks about to make positive change for our students are tricks that I use already, yet there were suggestions for kinesthetic activities that I could incorporate into my everyday teaching, and others as well, that I'll be trying to work into each day I took a break from pleasure reading to do a little school reading. There is interesting data in this book to show that students' brains are capable of changing for both good and bad depending on what happens in classrooms. Much of what Jensen talks about to make positive change for our students are tricks that I use already, yet there were suggestions for kinesthetic activities that I could incorporate into my everyday teaching, and others as well, that I'll be trying to work into each day

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    Relevant and thought provoking as the examples and suggestions seem applicable and life changing. I would recommend this book to any educator as poverty has many characteristics and faces. I'm looking forward to the conversations that surround this book. Relevant and thought provoking as the examples and suggestions seem applicable and life changing. I would recommend this book to any educator as poverty has many characteristics and faces. I'm looking forward to the conversations that surround this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Walton Mayden

    Eric Jensen is an absolute genius! This book is a valuable tool for any educator.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I nodded a lot while reading this. Most of the ideas were things I had encountered before, but I did appreciate hearing about the neuroscience and the research to back up those ideas.

  24. 5 out of 5

    NCHS Library

    From Follett: In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, From Follett: In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain's very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students' resilience, self-esteem, and character.Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Teaching with Poverty in Mind reveals* What poverty is and how it affects students in school;* What drives change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student's brain);* Effective strategies from those who have succeeded and ways to replicate those best practices at your own school; and* How to engage the resources necessary to make change happen.Too often, we talk about change while maintaining a culture of excuses. We can do better. Although no magic bullet can offset the grave challenges faced daily by disadvantaged children, this timely resource shines a spotlight on what matters most, providing an inspiring and practical guide for enriching the minds and lives of all your students.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Roslyn

    This book is a pep talk for people setting out to do the impossible. It is not based on reality; the author states that at the beginning. Reality is bleak and would make wide eyed new teachers think twice about what they were setting out to do. What these teachers need, he says, is not honesty but hope. Jensen tries to provide hope with long lists of how teachers can be good at teaching. He offers brilliant advice that would never occur to anyone who had not read his book like, "Put affirmations This book is a pep talk for people setting out to do the impossible. It is not based on reality; the author states that at the beginning. Reality is bleak and would make wide eyed new teachers think twice about what they were setting out to do. What these teachers need, he says, is not honesty but hope. Jensen tries to provide hope with long lists of how teachers can be good at teaching. He offers brilliant advice that would never occur to anyone who had not read his book like, "Put affirmations on the wall," "Tell students they can succeed," "Help students set goals." He has pages on invaluable tips for teachers like, "Know how long you might need to spend on a certain topic, " and "Know how to group students." He has a super helpful chapter for school administrators with advice like, "Recruit the best staff you can find." Which is to say: Most of this book is Absolute Crap, lists of things no one needs to make a list of that have nothing to do with poverty. It's the distraction, the subterfuge, so that you miss the reality there is to pick out of this book and stay focused on hope. If you read this book with an eye on reality, what it says is: If you want to help low SES children, adopt one. Otherwise, you are just throwing resources away. Also, what does it mean to "save" a low SES kid? It means the kid goes to college! Because we all know that having gone to college is the be all and end all of a successful life! What I learned from this book: -Those schools which have been successful at changing the lives of kids in poverty (the kids go to college) provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, on campus doctors and dentists on campus, tutoring, after school activities, mentors, therapy, and transportation. Which is to say, the recipe for success with low SES kids is to adopt them. -And that is the only recipe for success. A regular school, just being 9-3 and not providing the above things, statistically speaking, won't succeed. -Oh wait, you need all those things AND the very best teachers out there since these kids are so difficult to teach. -Which is why, if your school isn't providing those things, you may as well give up now. And most do. Those who work with kids in poverty start off inspired but quickly get jaded and hopeless. -The teachers who feel hopeless are The Worst People Ever (Mr. Jensen really hammers that home) because it is so easy to adopt 2000 kids in poverty. All you have to do is diagnose all the students at your school with a mental illness or a learning disability, then the state has to shell out A Lot more money for them. That's how you pay for all of the above. -Apparently the real purpose of No Child Left Behind was to funnel money from wealthy schools to poor schools. -If poor kids don't get adopted (and early, you really need to get them by age 3, 6 at the very latest) they will almost certainly become the irrational, incapable, horror of incompetence at survival in a civilized society that we all imagine them to be. -Or maybe they would just be productive members of society who worked but didn't have a college degree. Jensen wasn't clear about that. -I would be curious to know how the "effective" teachers do over the long haul. Since Jensen made it very clear that the good teachers are young and the bad teachers are old, it is easy to wonder if those good teachers aren't going to end up jaded and bad by the time they are old. -Jensen honestly believes that it is right and just for all the best teachers in a given school district to go to the low SES kids and all the worst teachers to go to the high SES kids. Essentially what he is doing is taxing the successful. The high SES kids have parents who worked very hard so that their young could survive. Jensen thinks (accurately) that if a poor education is provided to the high SES kids, their parents will step in and shoulder more of the burden. But is that fair? He's saying, "You're succeeding! You should have to work even harder so that other people's kids can succeed too!" -Children of immigrants make up 22% of children in poverty. It's so interesting how government intervention messes with the prices of things, so we can't see their real relationships. Business owners need immigrants to take the $10/hr jobs. But if their kids (all ten of them) need 3x the amount of money to make it successfully through the school system, the price of that worker coming to this country is far more than $10/hr. The government spreads the cost around to the tax payers. The worker is really $60/hr, but taxpayers shoulder the burden instead of the business owner. -Teachers spend 20% of the school day controlling and disciplining students.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jonna Higgins-Freese

    Jensen provides a nice outline of different *kinds* of poverty: situational, generational, absolute, relative, urban, and rural. Each has different characteristics and impacts. He then outlines the four risk factors that affect people living in poverty: emotional and social challenges, acute and chronic stressors, cognitive lags, and health & safety issues. These then interact with and exacerbate one another. "A head injury, for example,e is a potentially dire event for a child living in poverty. Jensen provides a nice outline of different *kinds* of poverty: situational, generational, absolute, relative, urban, and rural. Each has different characteristics and impacts. He then outlines the four risk factors that affect people living in poverty: emotional and social challenges, acute and chronic stressors, cognitive lags, and health & safety issues. These then interact with and exacerbate one another. "A head injury, for example,e is a potentially dire event for a child living in poverty. With limited access to adequate medical care, the child may experience cognitive or emotional damage, mental illness, or depression, possibly attended with denial or shame that further prevents the child from getting necessary help ; impairments in vision or hearing that go untested, undiagnosed, and untreated; or undiagnosed behavior disorders, such as AD/HD or oppositional personality disorder" (7). Jensen suggests a schoolwide support model and a "growth mindset." This all seemed interesting, but not nearly as radical as _For Black Folks who Teach in the Hood_. I question the deficit mindset about poverty, and any view that doesn't take as its primary starting point the idea that we should solve this by not having so many kids living in poverty.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Loveless

    Eric Jensen's book Teaching with Poverty in Mind is an excellent source for any teacher or administrator who works with kids who live in poverty. Jensen's book is research-based and filled with information about the effects of poverty on the brain, as well as practical strategies that allow schools to make a difference. Jensen explains the concepts, cites the research, gives examples of schools that are acting on the concepts, and then identifies actions steps that the reader can take. The tone Eric Jensen's book Teaching with Poverty in Mind is an excellent source for any teacher or administrator who works with kids who live in poverty. Jensen's book is research-based and filled with information about the effects of poverty on the brain, as well as practical strategies that allow schools to make a difference. Jensen explains the concepts, cites the research, gives examples of schools that are acting on the concepts, and then identifies actions steps that the reader can take. The tone of the book is hopeful, stating that if poverty can affect students' minds and lives in negative ways, it stands to reason that schools can provide an environment and learning opportunities that can affect students' minds and lives in positive ways. This book is one of the best education books I've ever read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    There is a lot of good stuff in this book about children of poverty but there is a lot left out. The solution to teaching children of poverty is ending poverty. Charter schools make take kids from lotteries but there is a lot of ways to pressure kids or parents to leave. Schools didn't choose to use metal detectors because they wet authoritarian but because bad things happened in the school. If students don't fell safe, they'll bring weapons in. A metal detector deters weapons and catches a few. There is a lot of good stuff in this book about children of poverty but there is a lot left out. The solution to teaching children of poverty is ending poverty. Charter schools make take kids from lotteries but there is a lot of ways to pressure kids or parents to leave. Schools didn't choose to use metal detectors because they wet authoritarian but because bad things happened in the school. If students don't fell safe, they'll bring weapons in. A metal detector deters weapons and catches a few. That way kids know a school is making sure there are no weapons. Kids act the way their families do and while there can be some positives schools can help with, it takes more than the social services in the communities now. Solving poverty and it's causes won't happen until it goes far beyond the school systems.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I'm only on about chapter 4 and this book is so frustrating. Yes the info about the actual brain chemistry and neurology was interesting, he has spent the last chapter or so talking about how much data you need to collect. Data, data, data, test, test, test. When on Earth do you actually teach if you're spending this much time collecting data? Maybe it's because I teach in a non-US school, and therefore a district that doesn't put as much worth on standardized tests, but my God I can't imagine t I'm only on about chapter 4 and this book is so frustrating. Yes the info about the actual brain chemistry and neurology was interesting, he has spent the last chapter or so talking about how much data you need to collect. Data, data, data, test, test, test. When on Earth do you actually teach if you're spending this much time collecting data? Maybe it's because I teach in a non-US school, and therefore a district that doesn't put as much worth on standardized tests, but my God I can't imagine testing for everything he suggests. Why not just assess? Actively assess with anecdotal records, properly designed tests, and a few standardized assessments thrown in (F and P, WTW, maybe another one for good measure). All the acronyms he went through made me dizzy. I'm appalled there are that many standardized tests, and that students are consistently writing them. Then he goes on to say that only THE BEST, and MOST SPECTACULAR teacher is worthy of teaching these students. It's not like having an adult who shows up every day, cares, and works with them is enough or helpful, no, they need to be SPECTACULAR, and dedicate every waking second to their students. They can NEVER have a bad day, or provide a lesson that isn't SUPER ENGAGING and that they haven't spent hours prepping. No wonder teachers are burning out. This is an insane amount of pressure to put on people who are just trying to do a job. I don't live to teach, I teach to live, and that is okay. I'm going to continue slogging through this, so we'll see if my opinion changes, but right now, I am unimpressed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather Munao

    This book is good for a primer on how poverty affects the brain and affects students. It gives some suggestions-- a lot of them were on cultural things your school could shift and dedicate itself to with some action steps. Beware of some of the info in here on impoverished schools making it work because some of the schools profiled are charter schools which have massive exclusionary discipline and can expel students, so they're not *really* making it work. Ultimately, however, if you want to use This book is good for a primer on how poverty affects the brain and affects students. It gives some suggestions-- a lot of them were on cultural things your school could shift and dedicate itself to with some action steps. Beware of some of the info in here on impoverished schools making it work because some of the schools profiled are charter schools which have massive exclusionary discipline and can expel students, so they're not *really* making it work. Ultimately, however, if you want to use a book on poverty for professional development for your staff, I recommend the author's other book Engaging With Poverty in Mind which was more about actually teaching. You could just use excerpts from this book but actual more ideas on teaching with the Engaging book.

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