In his new book, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement, brain expert and best-selling author Eric Jensen emphasizes the strong and significant correlation between engagement and achievement. He reveals how educators can master engagement and use it to help students of low socioeconomic status excel.
For a chance to win a copy, answer his prompt—it’s in bold at the end of the post. All answers must be received by 5 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, October 16. If you prefer to e-mail your response, send it to Eric. Full giveaway rules are available online. Two winners of the author’s choosing will be announced here on Friday, October 18. The books will be signed by Eric himself.
How to Involve and Inspire Every Student Every Day
By Eric Jensen
This summer, I published Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind with ASCD, and it may be the best book I’ve ever written. Here’s a true story from this amazing new publication about one teacher and her class.
At the start of each school year, the teacher asked her young elementary level kids what they want to do when they grow up. One kid responded, “I wanna be like my daddy and be on welfare.” Some teachers would have rolled their eyes and thought, how am I supposed to teach kids in poverty that have a home life like his? How can I teach kids who don’t want to even learn or graduate?
What would you have done?
This teacher did what high-performing teachers do. She refused to lower her goals or her standards. Her strategy was to broaden his horizons and help him think bigger.
All year long, she shared with the class her interesting microtrips: She went to national parks, made car trips to see friends and family, and took short vacations. Once a week, she brought and showed pictures, ticket stubs, screenshots, and souvenirs to inspire her kids in class and tell stories of her adventures. These adventures were often modest, but they were outside of the school’s zip code.
At the end of the school year, she asked all her kids the same question from the start of the year. That same kid who said earlier that he wanted to be on welfare was a changed student. How? He had a new concept of what life could be like. He had a high-performing teacher. He now knew who he wanted to be when he grew up. Now, guess what the same student said? That’s right! When the teacher called on him at the end of the year, he said, “I wanna be a teacher!”
If you want to find out what it takes to become a confident, high-performing teacher working with kids from poverty, I encourage you to lean in and read closely.
What would it mean to you to be able to engage every single student in your school or class? Share your answer in the comments section for a chance to win a copy of my book courtesy of ASCD.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to all who participated. The two lucky winners are Ellen Frazier and Susan Denton. We are pleased to offer all other readers of Inservice a 15 percent discount on orders of Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind placed through the ASCD Online Store by Friday, November 1. Simply enter promotional code Z205 at checkout.