high poverty schools

If Some High-Poverty Schools Do Well, Can All?

Today we're talking to Dr. Anael Alston about specific issues with high-poverty schools. In a refreshing take on dramatic school change, Anael does not recommend that we assign blame. Instead, he recommends an approach that focuses on teacher expectations and several other things. As a turnaround principal himself, Anael has insights into how to help teachers change their attitude about how students can perform.

I think his principles apply to all teachers, because we all have students who struggle. We all have students who need us to believe in them. I think perhaps the greatest challenge is what Anael tells teachers who just don't believe the kids can do it. It's actually genius. Take a listen.

(Oh, and there were so many great quotes, I've included them in graphics at the bottom for those listeners who love to pin great quotes to Pinterest!)

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I reject that poverty is the reason for school failure

Show Notes:

  • How do you get started with change in high-needs schools?
  • What should principals do when teachers just don't believe the kids can do it?
  • How do you help teachers reframe their expectations?
  • What kinds of things did Anael do to help teachers change their attitudes in the high-needs schools that he has helped turn around?
  • Why does the blame game accomplish nothing? What do you do instead?
  • What can teachers in high-needs, high-poverty schools do to adjust their own attitude when they feel like they're not getting leadership from the top?

Who is Dr. Anael Alston?

Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, Dr. Anael Alston @DrAAlston is the Superintendent of the Hamilton Central School District. Dr. Alston has written political commentary for Newsday, written nationally for EdWeek, has presented at national and statewide conferences on school change and curriculum reform, testified for Governor Cuomo’s Education reform Commission, and occasionally does radio as an education expert.

working with students in poverty

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere