Poverty in the Classroom?

Today in class we had the opportunity to listen to an amazing speaker tell her life story. She communicated clearly and with so much passion. Personally I love listening to speakers who are speaking from experience and not just facts, it makes the topic so much more real and something I will never forget. I agree that poverty is very real in our city today. I have lived in the Inner-city my entire life and my parents have worked with Inner-city children as long as I have been alive. I have heard and witnessed many traumatic events in the lives of the children around me. I agree with Bonnie when she said that the system does seem to be against them and not for them. It is because of this reality that I believe it is important to create a safe space for children in the classroom. A place where they aren’t afraid to share information about their lives (Like if they are hungry) or simply just a place where they can escape from some of the harsh realities in their young lives. However, I did have one question that kept coming back to me throughout Bonnie’s presentation: How does a teacher approach a situation where a child comes from a home where parents are receiving child tax and welfare but as soon as they get their cheque they spend the money on alcohol, they buy their children things like iPods, or they just hand over 40$ to 8 year olds that is then spent at 711 in one day leaving no money for the rest of the month? I have seen this happen many times and it is really really sad, but I also know that most of these parents aren’t bad parents and so the children shouldn’t be removed from the home. I know this is a tough question but based on what i’ve seen i believe that it is an important one to think about before we, future teachers, come across a situation like this.

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