Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poverty and Education

Today, for my PED 356 Adaptive Physical Education class, we took part in a poverty simulation so that we could somewhat see life from the other side of the poverty level. This experience was a great one to go through. Even in the hour that this simulation took place, you could definitely begin to get a feel of what families that are living in poverty have to go through on a day to day basis in order to feed and support their families in every way that they can. It can be extremely difficult for parents to raise children living in poverty. No parent wants to have the feeling of not being able to support their children and realizing how hard they work to give them everything they can, can help you as a teacher help the students when they are at school and under your care.

A student's life at home can sometimes transfer over into the classroom and teachers need to be aware of it and deal with it whenever it occurs. In the simulation today, my group got the feeling of what it felt like to not have money to be able to pay bills and buy food for the children. It is a very stressful one and it is a very negative feeling of not being able to provide everything for your children, even though you are doing all that you can to try to. For students who have rough home-lives, it can be a big distraction for them while they are in school because they may be focused more on their families and home than on their school work. This is not always the case, but sometimes it is. Students may be tired from not getting enough sleep or from not getting enough food because they simply cannot afford it. We teachers need to be able to help students who may be disengaged for whatever reason stay on task and pay attention so that they can get a good education. We can do this by showing them what getting an education can do for them and help them succeed in school.

The amount of people living in poverty is an amazing amount. About 46 million people in the United States are living at or below the poverty line. This is a staggering amount. In today's economy, finding a job is very difficult and finding a job without a decent education is even more difficult. We need to work on getting our students a good education and give them good educational opportunities that are given to everybody so that children can become even more successful, hardworking individuals.

This simulation provided me with a good look of what it is to live like from the other side of the poverty line. It is very difficult for families to provide for their families in this hard economic time and we should do all we can do help each other out when it is possible. I would like to thank everyone who put on this simulation today because I believe that it was a great one for all of us to go through today.

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