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Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Plight of High School Homelessness

I read the The plight of high school homelessness in the Washington Post earlier this week and the article has really stuck with me. I applaud the community leaders who are working to change the lives of high school students and  their efforts to explain how a lack of a stable living situation can affect students in the classroom.

For me, this article is yet another reminder that the life of a student is complex and multifaceted. Students, even the youngest students, have lives outside of the classroom. Many students have worries, fears, and anxieties that affect their classroom learning. It is a reminder to me that all children are unique and that rules and procedures are not supposed to be rigid--There should be flexibility in the classroom to accommodate needs of individual students.

More than anything else, this article reminds me that creating a safe, comfortable environment is essential for student learning. I learned from working at the Wynn Center that as a teacher you cannot possible fix every problem that every student has. A teacher cannot singlehandedly fix homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, and crime, but they can create an environment for children that is an escape; an environment in which children want to come to school; and an environment in which children can feel comfortable enough to take risks.

As students grow older, this becomes even more important. As ECE teachers we have a responsibility to lay a foundation for students so that they value their education, want to come to school, and realize that learning is not compartmentalized into the school day--it is a lifelong practice.

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