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Strategies for Working with Homeless Children Essay

When working with foster children, migrant children, abandoned and homeless children there are many strategies that need to be applied to each individual child case by case. These children may have different areas that need to be addressed depending on their individual situations. Each of these groups of children may face different challenges and some of the same challenges. Higher rates in these groups of children may fall behind in academics because some do not even speak English. Abandoned and homeless children are disadvantaged because they are of low social economic standings financially they are living in poverty and may not have adequate means or an environment that allows them to feel safe comfortable or even a place to sleep at night which will affect their performance and ability to even attend school. There are civil laws and laws within the NCLB Act known as the McKinney Vento Homeless Education Act that do not allow for schools to discriminate against homeless children, or segregate them they are entitled to be in the mainstream school environment.

These are some of the differences that separate the typical students from the non typical students. Regardless of diversities these groups of children can be taught and provided the means of education so that they can reach their potentials. It is clear that all of these groups of children usually do not have any or minimal family support. Foster children who change schools more often are noted to have more difficulties because of the stress and depression of moving along with any other emotional trauma or abuse they have experienced. Resources within the school and community can help these children. Migrant workers whose children do attend schools may have language barriers and parents who are not educated with skills to help their children in school with speaking reading or writing English.

These parents are depending on the schools and teachers to help them and their children. Childcare education programs and the advocates of programs like the Head Start program must not only take into consideration the academic needs but take a closer look at the child and consider them as the whole person with social, emotional, and physical needs. A highlighted model for meeting the needs in regards children as whole persons in the family context is the “Schools of the 21st Century” Harold Hodgkinson a demographer who is an advocate for universal preschool education and providing fair and equal education opportunity has been noted in articles about the diversity in U.S. schools (2003) states “This is one of the most successful models for putting all of the factors together that contribute to the positive academic, emotional and social development of children.”

This model includes first a school based programs second, strong links between early childhood and education ,third, strong parental support and involvement ,fourth , universal access ,fifth, a focus on children’s physical, social ,emotional, and intellectual development, sixth , strong staff training and development and finally a commitment to serving working families. These are the core components in Schools of the 21st century which is offered in schools across the country. Marietta saravia –shore wrote “Diverse Teaching strategies for Diverse Learners “with numerous teaching strategies that can be applied to the numerous diverse groups of children culturally and ethically. Racially and of socioeconomically She notes research from Hodgkinson that states “Although we do not know how to reduce poverty, there is an abundance of research on how to reduce the effects on our youngest children” She also stresses the importance of embracing diversity.

So much can be learned from diverse populations and many contributions have been made to society by people of many backgrounds. This is so much of what I have taken from my courses on cultures and diversity in the classroom along with special needs and exceptional children that they are to be treated with the same dignity and respect as any child. As a teacher we have the opportunity to make a change and leave an imprint that may touch upon a child’s inner self building self esteem and self concepts despite any diverse challenge they are facing or have faced in the past. With proper knowledge and teaching strategies we can help these groups of diverse students whether from foster homes, migrant, abandoned or homeless children to be able to learn and be treated as equal dignified intelligent human beings.

We first must be knowledgeable and recognize where they need help in what areas and apply every strategy and resource available to the child and the family. There are 12 key elements in Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners” these apply to English learners and ethnic language minority students. They are as follows. 1. Teachers have a clear sense of their own ethnic and cultural identities. 2. Teachers communicate high expectations for the success of all students and a belief that all students can succeed. 3. Teachers are personally committed to achieving equity for all students and believe that they are capable of making a difference in the students learning.

4. Teachers have developed a bond with their students and cease seeing their students as the other. 5. Schools provide an academically challenging curriculum that includes attention to the development f higher level cognitive skills. 6. Instruction focuses on student’s creation of meaning about content in an interactive and collaborative learning environment. * Instruction focuses on students’ creation of meaning about content in an interactive and collaborative learning environment. * Teachers help students see learning tasks as meaningful. * Curricula include the contributions and perspectives of the different ethno cultural groups that compose the society.

* Teachers provide”scaffolding” that links the academically challenging curriculum to the cultural resources that students bring to school. * Teachers explicitly teach students the culture of the school and seek to maintain students’ sense of ethno cultural pride and identity. * Community members and parents or guardians are encouraged to become involved in students’ education and are given a significant voice in making important school decisions related to programs (such as resources and staffing). * Teachers are involved in political struggles outside the classroom that are aimed at achieving a more just and humane society.

The best strategies to teach these diverse groups are to be fully informed and know what areas they may need special help with whether it is in social, emotional or cognitive areas. Include the child and let them know they have a place in the classroom they are welcomed and entitled to an education just as much as any other child. Provide a caring environment in the classroom for them among classmates also. Reassure them and guide them with positive reinforcement that they are beautiful and capable children regardless of any diversity Embrace diversity and build on it in the classroom and learn from it, teach respect to all diverse children in all situations and never show bias towards any child academically and otherwise, as a teacher should always treat and teach that all children are equal.

A teacher can be a powerful positive influence and sometimes the only positive influence a child might have. Ethically and morally and legally a teacher should exhaust all avenues to help each student in all areas and provide any further resources to the family and the child within the community that may help the child develop. Empower all of these diverse children and their families when applicable to become all that they can .

Work Cited:
Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners www.ascd.org/…/Diverse-Teaching-Strategies-for-Diverse-Learners.aspx

Guidance for the education for the homeless children and youth www2.ed.gov/programs/homeless/guidance.doc

tNECTAC Clearinghouse on Early Interrvention Early Childhood www.nectac.org/~pdfs/pubs/homeless.pd

Jackson, T. L. (2004). Homelessness and students with disabilities: Educational rights and challenges. Quick Turn Around, January 2004. Retrieved August 15, 2005, from http://www.nasdse.org/publications/homelessness_and_SWD.pdf

Abstract: The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures educational rights


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