This past week’s #michED chat was the first in a series about how poverty affects our lives, specifically the lives of learners. The state of Michigan is participating in an online book discussion around Eric Jensen’s “Teaching With Poverty in Mind” and the #michED chat was fortunate to host one of these chats. It’s no secret that poverty is on the rise in Michigan; from 2004-2014 the rate of children living in poverty (a family of four making less than $24,036 per year) rose to 22.6%. While that figure is down from a 2012 high of 24.7%, it still means that nearly one in four children in Michigan is living in poverty.

How do educators address this in the classroom? Simply investing more in schools isn’t good enough when it comes to practical instructional solutions, supports, and realities in our classrooms. We need to get better at sharing strategies for dealing with children coming from impoverished homes, developing new ones when old strategies fail, and finding ways to be the support that students may not be receiving at home so they can succeed and achieve.

Brenda Tenniswood, Director of Education Services at the St. Clair County RESA, helped walk us through a discussion about Eric Jensen’s book, and invites us to continue to participate in the discussion online with the #MIPovertyMatters hashtag.

If you have trouble viewing the archive of the chat below, you can view the entire Storify archive here.