Skip to main content
Grade Level PreK, Grades K-12, Professional Development
Resource Type Activity


Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Pinterest
Share On LinkedIn


As educators, we strive to ensure that all our learners are provided with effective learning experiences that allow them to succeed. Knowing that students who have faced poverty are often exposed to abuse, homelessness, and a loss of community and/or family separation, we want to create a learning environment that provides a safe space, along with tools, resources, curriculum and discussions that will support their learning and ultimately create a trusting relationship between the student(s) and educator.

Essential Questions:

  1. How can teachers effectively engage and show empathy towards students who have faced or are facing poverty?
  2. How can a teacher create a classroom that allows students to feel safe, free and secure from their outside challenges?


  • The rate of trauma among students experiencing poverty is high. Children who live in poverty are at greater risk of experiencing traumatic events, but childhood poverty in and of itself is a traumatic experience.
  • The same is true for homelessness—while traumatic experiences often precede homelessness, the loss of a home or secure environment are themselves traumatic experiences. Many adults and children who access homeless services have experienced physical, emotional or sexual violence or abuse, extreme poverty, a loss of community, family separations, or other tragic events in their lives.
  • Currently, many homeless service systems are not adequately equipped to address the issue of trauma. In the absence of trauma-informed services, educators must create a classroom that allows students to feel safe, secure and free from the challenges they face outside the classroom, while also developing a relationship of trust and comfort with the teacher. Students who do not trust the service provider, in this case the educator, are less likely to take advantage of the services even if they experience re-traumatization.
  • Programs developed in the classroom should integrate trauma-informed treatment approaches that are specialized and that increase resilience in children and youth.

Learning Goals: During this module, educators will:

  • Work to ensure that students are provided with a safe, inclusive space that offers them the resources, tools and relationships that allow them to succeed despite their outside challenges
  • Learn how to create such a space so that students facing the challenges of poverty (to whatever degree) feel welcomed by their peers and teachers
  • Discover how they can bring meaningful conversations into their classroom that will help foster understanding of different situations, challenges and needs among students/the class



WE Teachers Module_Poverty_2021.pdf

April 1, 2021
0.9 MB
Log in or sign up to download resources.


February 15, 2021
0.1 MB
Log in or sign up to download resources.


Write A Review!

Be the first to submit a review!