Dr. Ruby Payne, a leading expert in the field of poverty research, visits with Dr. Karen Hassell and Dr. Bonny Cain prior to a
professional development workshop at the Waco ISD Administration building.
Learning about generational poverty will help teachers help students overcome barriers to success
For schools that serve a high percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged, bridging the poverty gap is critical in forging a pathway to success. Children living in poverty often struggle with behaviors, mindsets, relationships and family dynamics that can have negative effects on classroom achievement. By understanding the hidden rules of economic classes and how they apply to classrooms, teachers can become better equipped to help steer their students towards success.
Waco ISD serves a student population that is 87 percent economically disadvantaged, well above the state average of 59 percent. To help teachers better understand the cycles of poverty and its effect on learning, the district is offering professional development workshops called “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” through a program called “aha! Process, Inc.” The program’s founder, Dr. Ruby Payne, is internationally known and respected for her work in the area of poverty research. As an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and overcoming the hurdles of poverty, she has trained hundreds of thousands of professionals who work with people from poverty, from educators and school administrators, to community, church and business leaders. Dr. Payne has traveled the globe to give presentations based on many ofher books, publications and research.
Throughout the summer, trainers from aha Process, Inc. and Waco ISD will be offering the workshops to Waco ISD teachers. This week, however, a group of approximately 50 teachers, principals and support staff were fortunate to participate in a day-long training led by the founder, Dr. Ruby Payne, herself. This was Dr. Payne’s second visit toWaco. She was here last summer to make a presentation to the Waco ISD Board of Trustees.
Hopefully, with the vast resources of Dr. Ruby Payne and the aha! Process, Inc., Waco ISD teachers and principals will have the knowledge and skills necessary to help students overcome the negative effects of generational poverty.