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FDCSD counselors complete poverty awareness training

Percentage of students from low-income families has increased

January 1, 2014
Messenger News

By BRANDON

L. SUMMERS

bsummers@

messengernews.net

Fort Dodge Community School District counselors trained in December to better understand students living in poverty.

Stacey Cole, FDCSD director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, was joined by district counselors at the training in Houston, Texas, led by educator Ruby Payne, titled "Understanding the Framework for Poverty."

"The training is really about helping our staff understand the different cultures of living in different classes. What is it like to live in poverty, as a social class?" Cole said. "Part of the training is essentially to help us understand that we actually view the world through our middle class lens."

With the training, educators achieve a greater sense of empathy toward their students.

"One of her approaches is to help you step back and take a look at school cultures through the lenses of someone who comes from wealth or someone who comes from poverty," Cole said. "It's about thinking about how to push through and help all kids persevere, regardless of their readiness when they enter our school system."

As the student population changes, Cole said, instruction also needs to change.

"Over the course of the past six years, our population of students who live below the poverty line has increased to more than 50 percent," she said. "Our system must be proactive instead of reactive in meeting the needs and challenges that brings."

Kim Bodholdt, a Fort Dodge Middle School counselor, said she appreciated the training.

"We got so much information to share with our staff about ways we can help students in poverty situations, understand them better, teach them more about the values of school and how that works to their benefit so they can be more successful," she said.

From the training, Bodholdt learned most middle class people speak in a formal register.

"Kids, a lot of times, or people with less education, talk in a more casual register," she said. "We need to teach the difference to students, so those who only know the casual register can learn the formal register, and it will be more beneficial how they react to things in school and the community."

Trista Thompson, a Fort Dodge Senior High counselor, learned about the differences in classes.

"We learned there are a lot of hidden rules within each class, and it helps if we can understand from other perspectives of the class we're in," she said. "A lot of times schools are run on a middle class perspective, so we have hidden rules on time, how money should be spent."

Thompson said she plans to implement some of the lessons she learned.

"I would like to implement some of that during Dodger Time, to teach our students that formal language is the language that is used in school and work," she said. "We need to teach them how to plan. Sometimes we assume students come into school and they should just know how to plan already because they were taught it at home, but that's not always the case."

Cole said she enjoyed the training.

"Schools have not traditionally done a very good job of teaching all demographics," she said. "It's definitely a passion of mine that we begin to use strategies and tools that help us meet the demands of all of our learners. This is just one step in the right direction."

FDCSD counselors complete poverty awareness training

By BRANDON L. SUMMERS

bsummers@messengernews.net

Fort Dodge Community School District counselors trained in December to better understand students living in poverty.

Stacey Cole, FDCSD director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, was joined by district counselors at the training in Houston, Texas, led by educator Ruby Payne, titled "Understanding the Framework for Poverty."

"The training is really about helping our staff understand the different cultures of living in different classes. What is it like to live in poverty, as a social class?" Cole said. "Part of the training is essentially to help us understand that we actually view the world through our middle class lens."

With the training, educators achieve a greater sense of empathy toward their students.

"One of her approaches is to help you step back and take a look at school cultures through the lenses of someone who comes from wealth or someone who comes from poverty," Cole said. "It's about thinking about how to push through and help all kids persevere, regardless of their readiness when they enter our school system."

As the student population changes, Cole said, instruction also needs to change.

"Over the course of the past six years, our population of students who live below the poverty line has increased to more than 50 percent," she said. "Our system must be proactive instead of reactive in meeting the needs and challenges that brings."

Kim Bodholdt, a Fort Dodge Middle School counselor, said she appreciated the training.

"We got so much information to share with our staff about ways we can help students in poverty situations, understand them better, teach them more about the values of school and how that works to their benefit so they can be more successful," she said.

From the training, Bodholdt learned most middle class people speak in a formal register.

"Kids, a lot of times, or people with less education, talk in a more casual register," she said. "We need to teach the difference to students, so those who only know the casual register can learn the formal register, and it will be more beneficial how they react to things in school and the community."

Trista Thompson, a Fort Dodge Senior High counselor, learned about the differences in classes.

"We learned there are a lot of hidden rules within each class, and it helps if we can understand from other perspectives of the class we're in," she said. "A lot of times schools are run on a middle class perspective, so we have hidden rules on time, how money should be spent."

Thompson said she plans to implement some of the lessons she learned.

"I would like to implement some of that during Dodger Time, to teach our students that formal language is the language that is used in school and work," she said. "We need to teach them how to plan. Sometimes we assume students come into school and they should just know how to plan already because they were taught it at home, but that's not always the case."

Cole said she enjoyed the training.

"Schools have not traditionally done a very good job of teaching all demographics," she said. "It's definitely a passion of mine that we begin to use strategies and tools that help us meet the demands of all of our learners. This is just one step in the right direction."

 
 

 

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