Speaking Out on Poverty

In the latest Speaking Out installment in Principal magazine, Melissa Nixon calls on educational leaders to better understand the role that poverty has on students. Socio-economic status, race, and gender all have a significant impact on the poverty to prison pipeline, and she argues that principals can do more to support these students.

Nixon highlights three areas that principals can focus on to improve learning in their schools: empathy, expectations, and engagement. She argues that “noticing and acknowledging emotions and outward signs of distress in students help them to understand that they are not invisible in the world of school.” Additionally, consistently setting high expectations lets students know that they are capable of learning and their time is valued. Finally, engagement requires attention to students’ various learning styles, and using any tools and methodologies as necessary. Read the full article here.

What do you think? How can principals better support students in poverty? Are empathy, high expectations, and engagement enough to make a difference? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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