The Poverty of Leadership (and what teachers can DO about it)

I missed the Blog Action day yesterday, but am sharing this today.

Poverty is very personal to me.  My mother grew up very poor because Grandaddy was injured in the Korean war and my grandmother, one of the most amazing women who ever lived, had to take care of them.

So, blog action day is what to do about poverty.  I called Mom and asked permission to tell her story because in it is what we can DO about poverty.

The worst thing about poverty is how you're treated.  When poverty flows over into unkindness, people who won't let their kids come to your house, and the assumption that somehow a person who is poor “earned it” or is “lower class” in their manners and dignity, that is when those in poverty become poor.

Mom always wanted to be a leader but the “cool” “rich” kids would laugh at her and say things like “Don't you know that someone like YOU can't do that sort of thing.”

A teacher at her school told Mom that she believed that Mom was a leader.  Mom went home and talked to Grandmother and Granny told her that “Don't you know there are more of YOU (poor kids) than there are of THEM – if you get your friends together and go for it, you can do it.  Stop trying to let the few accept you, they won't.  Go for what you want to do.”

Well, Mama got her friends — the down and out kids who were considered poor and beneath contempt by many students and many teachers — to help her with her campaign.

Mama won!!  The teacher also put Mom in the beauty pageant and Granny made such sacrifices to get her a dress and let her be in the pageant. 


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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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