Socioeconomic Status in the Classroom
Reflect on the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on you and your students or the students in your
Write a 2- to 3-page response to the following:
- Is your socioeconomic status similar or different from the students�?
- In what ways is it similar or different?
- How do differences between your SES background and your students� SES background hinder your
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- In what ways might this be possible?
- How does your classroom and teaching materials reflect the backgrounds of your students and honor
their real-life experiences?
Socioeconomic Status in the Classroom
My socioeconomic status is different from that of some of my students. Personally, I
belong to the common category while a large percentage of my students belong to the low-class
category. Ideally, 80 percent of my students are poor, 15 percent belong to the common category,
and only 5 percent come from wealthy families. This observation is a proof of the claim that
majority of learners in contemporary public schools are poor children (Scott, 2016). I feel that
my socio-economic status is different from that of my students because I can afford to buy a few
resources that I may need using the small amount of money that I have. On the contrary, the
majority of my students are poor because they cannot afford to buy resources for personal use
due to lack of finances (This American Life, 2012).
My teaching is significantly hampered by the variations in my socioeconomic status and that of
my students. For instance, I often find it very difficult to teach when more than 50 percent of
students do not have basic learning resources such as pens and books. Furthermore, delivering
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instruction in a class that is mostly dominated by poor students is a huge challenge because these
students cannot participate effectively in class due to hunger and feelings of isolation. My
experience in my classroom makes me support the idea that poverty negatively impacts both
social and academic performance of the affected students (This American Life, 2012; Harper,
2015; & Beegle, 2003). To prevent my assumptions and perceptions from impeding student
learning, I always handle students based on their capabilities without discriminating against
disadvantaged learners (Scott, 2016).
The difference in socioeconomic status in my class affects the way I teach to a large extent.
When teaching my students, I mostly use teaching activities that encourage equal participation of
students from both poor and rich families. Also, I often strive to form close relationships with
learners, especially those from low-income families, as this enables me to motivate them and
provide close assistance to them at an individual level (Scott, 2016).
Currently, I have effectively managed poverty in my classroom to the extent that a visitor
may not be able to easily identify variations in the socioeconomic status of my students and that
of myself. This is possible because I have tried to provide my students with the essential learning
resources that they need to accomplish their academic goals. Additionally, I have formed close
relationships with all my students, and this allows me to address their problems at an individual
level. Again, I have provided all poor students with the right clothing to the extent that a visitor
will think that my students and I are of the same socioeconomic status (Beegle, 2003).
To promote equity in my classroom, I use learning activities that help students to view one
another as same creatures who deserve fair treatment. Again, I honor the real-life experiences of
my students by utilizing teaching materials that allow equal participation of both poor and rich
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students. While doing so, I attempt to teach learners to take their academics seriously, not
because it will help them to escape poverty, but to enable them to acquire skills that they can use
to solve real-life problems in future (Beegle, 2003). I also train my students to recognize the role
played by non-cognitive skills in shaping a person’s life. In this regard, I encourage them to have
self-control and perseverance in times of difficulty like whenever they are stricken by poverty
Beegle, D. M. (2003). Overcoming the silence of generational poverty. In A. M. Blankstein, P.
Noguera, & L. Kelly. (2016).Excellence through Equity: Five principles of courageous
leadership to guide achievement for every student. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision & Curriculum Development. ISBN: 978-1-4166-2250-5.
Harper, L. (2015). The Voices and Hearts of Youth: Transformative Power of Equity in Action.
In A. M. Blankstein, P. Noguera, & L. Kelly. (2016).Excellence through Equity: Five
principles of courageous leadership to guide achievement for every student. Alexandria,
VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. ISBN: 978-1-4166-2250-
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Scott, A. (2016). Poor children, a new majority in public schools.
This American Life. (2012, September 14). 474: Back to school [Audio podcast].