I’m going to post this again. Because holy tomato.

I’m still reading this post about poverty and education. I wish I had seen something like this when I was teaching. I feel this would benefit absolutely anyone who has to interact with teaching humans. It isn’t just about financial poverty. There are other kinds of poverty (from the article):

the ability to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, with-out engaging in self-destructive behavior. This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverance, and choices.
the necessary intellectual ability and acquired skills, such as reading, writing, and computing, to deal with everyday life.
a belief in divine purpose and guidance.
health and mobility.
Support systems:
friends, family, backup resources and knowledge bases one can rely on in times of need. These are external resources.
Role models:
frequent access to adults who are appropriate and nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior.
Knowledge of hidden rules:
knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group.
That’s a lot of kinds of poverty, yo. I am not sure I have ever seen it codified exactly like this. And this article present specifics of “How to work with children who have _____ deficit.”

I’ll be honest and say… I feel kinda awesome about how often I read this article and think, “YES! THAT’S EXACTLY HOW I HANDLE THAT PROBLEM!! GO TEAM ME!” I always feel excited when I find anything that looks like validation for my approach.

How do we teach children to choose and control emotional responses without engaging in self destructive behavior? That’s a mouth full. That’s a many decades long process in my experience. When someone did not learn these skills during the appropriate developmental windows (Know why I harp on the first seven years so often? RESEARCH. They are important. If you miss that window it isn’t impossible to catch up on areas of deficiency [I present your humble author as an example] but it is exponentially harder) it takes structure, form, and conscious teaching to undermine the bad training that the kid got.

I’ve worked with kids who had severe problems from one thing or another. They were all warm, loving people who had not been given the opportunities in life they need to have. I can’t think poorly of them for it even as I acknowledge how hard it can be to teach them more functional behaviors in a classroom.

I miss the classroom. I’ve been rewatching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo of course I watch the Swedish miniseries.

Sometimes I reflect that I watch shows in a pretty interesting variety of languages: Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Korean… there are more. I watch a lot of sub titles so I can try to feel the way the language works. I sincerely believe that Korean would be dead easy to learn. It sounds so blessedly consistent. I can pick up phrases from a soap opera series. Also, I continue to feel embarrassed by how poor my spoken Spanish is. I really need to find ways to practice so I can feel less stupid.

Anyway. TGWTDT makes me think about the ways we come into one another’s lives. How do we manage to intersect with new people? In that story/movie/book Lisbeth mostly came into contact with people through the social welfare system. That doesn’t exist in my country the way it does in Sweden. Sure, we have a system but it isn’t well thought out or comprehensive in quite the same way. Many more people fall through the cracks. Sure Lisbeth was caught because she threw a fire bomb on her father but still.

I came into contact with an awful high number of people because of teaching. I have leveled off that number like whoa since I stopped reaching out to the world in that manner.

Where is my place now? I have no role in societies like those pictures. I’m kind of… irrelevant. So how do people like me get to being able to help kids who aren’t theirs?

It’s complicated.

Everything is complicated.

A kiddo woke up. I should go do the breakfast thing since we don’t have a Noah today. Oh Noah. We miss you so. Not because you provide us with food, though that is lovely. I do regulate off of you. I need you to remind me when I’m hungry I should eat and when I’m tired I should sleep. When I’m exhausted but too anxious too sleep you help me calm down. I’m trying to not be super stoned in this pre-pregnancy period of hopefully reduced pot usage. I want my tolerance to stay low.

Ok. Gotta go.

2 thoughts on “I’m going to post this again. Because holy tomato.

  1. RT

    Ooooh, I am liking this Reddit post. (Also bookmarking other articles and books recommended.) L and I clash occasionally when it comes to family, because of our different class experiences growing up. It’s more class than ethnic culture, I think, but both play factors. I can’t understand why her whole family would show up on our front porch at a late hour with no notice or like a phone call when they’re an hour away after a 6-8 hour drive. Or when a sibling announces that they’re coming to stay while they hunt for an apartment in a town 2 hours away. (The day after I got out of surgery, too. And then complained about the house being a mess. Hoo boy.) Or when same sibling neeeeeeeds heeeeelp in that town and drags L down there for most of a day to run errands like going to the laundromat.

    I get so ticked off when stuff like that changes my plans and affects me negatively, and I don’t see why L doesn’t stand up for herself more. But I can see after reading the thread that she’s the one that moved away (even before she met me), got a good job and then another, and apparently owes the family a lot more than I assume I owe my upper-middle-class family of origin. And I am fine with deciding what to GIVE, but when they TAKE, I feel super defensive and protective of my resources and tend to shut it down or at least pull back to a lot less than I would otherwise.

    Gotta run, but processing thinky-thoughts!

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      There’s definitely a lot to think about there. 😀 I am in a weird place because I long for family so much. I grew up that kind of poor. My life now seems much lonelier without people barging in all the time.

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