A Wisconsin school system instructs teachers on what their impoverished pupils face through a simulated experience. In November, each teacher got a profile or role to play. Some of the teachers from the suburban Green Bay elementary school played kids, others single mothers, and all experienced in microcosm the frustrations their students and parents face.
Moving through an artificial “city” set up in the Valley View Elementary School gym, teachers had to carry out tasks and navigate between stations for housing, police, childcare, and food. The fictional city also had shelters and jails, and many teachers could not avoid ending up in them.
One teacher played the role of a single mother with two kids. “I didn’t know where to go first or what to do first. I could never pay my bills in full for the month, and that was really frustrating,” said Amanda Paul, a English language learner teacher.
The school system in Ashwaubenon, Wis., has identified 52 homeless students this year, WBAY-TV reported. —R.H.