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Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students

Practice Transcending Theory


Edited By Mary Poplin and Claudia Bermudez

Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students contains the quintessential details of highly effective teachers working with students who live in poverty inside our public schools and community colleges. This book features the words and actions of the teachers that can inspire and direct any current or future teacher who wants to be great and be a part of inspiring young people to fulfill their potential. This is the grist we need to spark a reinvigorated critical national conversation about what it takes to really have highly effective teachers in low-income public schools and whether we have the moral courage to work as hard as they do to make educational equity a reality in our nation.

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12. Challenging Class: How Highly Effective Teachers Mitigate Social Class Reproduction in Working-Class Communities (Rebecca Hatkoff)


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12. Challenging Class: How Highly Effective Teachers Mitigate Social Class Reproduction in Working-Class Communities


“She helps me learn because she knows life is difficult and she says that no one is going to pay your taxes and feed you and give you money. You have to do it yourself.”

—5th grade student

The K–12 public education system in the United States proffers remarkable inclusion. Children of any social class, ethnic background, gender, physical and learning ability, and immigrant status are welcomed into public schools and offered an education. This inclusion is both a generous and essential component of American society. In the groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling of Plyler v. Doe (1982), which officially granted undocumented children the right to attend public schools, Justice Brennan articulated the transient positions of people in America: “the illegal alien of today may well be the legal alien of tomorrow.” In today’s climate of income inequality, housing shortages, and employment insecurity, Justice Brennan’s remarks also prove true of social class: the middle-class is shrinking as the working-class grows (Pew Research Center, 2015). For better and for worse, families and neighborhoods can trade places in the blink of an eye. If the quality of students’ experiences in school varies dramatically according to their social class, how beneficial is just being included in the system?

The sheer size and diversity of contexts in the United States eliminates...

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