Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind:
Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement

In this galvanizing follow-up to the best-selling Teaching with Poverty in Mind, renowned educator and learning expert Eric Jensen digs deeper into engagement as the key factor in the academic success of economically disadvantaged students. 

Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind reveals:

  • Smart, purposeful engagement strategies that all teachers can use to expand students' cognitive capacity, increase motivation and effort, and build deep, enduring understanding of content. 
  • The (until-now) unwritten rules for engagement that are essential for increasing student achievement.
  • How automating engagement in the classroom can help teachers use instructional time more effectively and empower students to take ownership of their learning.
  • Steps you can take to create an exciting yet realistic implementation plan.

Too many of our most vulnerable students are tuning out and dropping out because of our failure to engage them. It's time to set the bar higher. Until we make school the best part of every student's day, we will struggle with attendance, achievement, and graduation rates. This timely resource will help you take immediate action to revitalize and enrich your practice so that all your students may thrive in school and beyond.

Get the Book


... and then Join Eric Jensen This Summer and Discover The Secrets That Bring Out The
UNTAPPED Achievement Capacity
in Your High-Poverty Students

Teaching With Poverty In Mind Teacher Workshop

This 3-Day event gives you the insider background knowledge, key skills and practical roadmap for academic success with kids from poverty.

You will learn how to successfully understand poverty in a totally
new way. Learn how to intervene in positive, practical,
research-based ways that can skyrocket achievement scores.

The 3-Day "Teaching and Engaging
with Poverty in Mind"
Summer Teacher Workshop

If your students come from poverty, you have unique learning, social and behavior challenges. After all, we know the human brain is just as vulnerable to negative factors as it is receptive to positive factors.

It’s easy to look at the statistics and just give up. There's good news. The brain can also change for the good. I have done my homework. Many schools are succeeding. I have worked at several of them to discover what they are doing differently that is working. I have done my homework and I have isolated the factors that matter most. What was most exciting was to visit the schools that were succeeding with kids from poverty.

Here’s just one example:

I worked with one school that has 760 kids, with 100% free and reduced lunch. None of the kids had parents with ANY college education. All the kids were poor, nearly ALL were minorities. The school’s listed as one of the Top 100 schools in the U.S. News and World Report Annual “Best Schools in America”.

Each June, over 95% of the kids graduate from this high school and of them, over 90% go on to attend 4-year universities like UCLA, Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia, and Stanford, etc. And the school does this year after year after year after year!

Who are you to say schools can’t turn kids around who come from poor families?

It can be done, and it is being done every single day. I have a list of schools that are doing this TODAY. If your school’s not overcoming poverty issues, what’s going on? Could you use some help?

I put the research and powerful strategies together into an amazing, highly engaging, classroom-practical, research-based, 3-day “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” event.

5 Secrets to High-Performing Schools

I’ll share what the best schools do and what the new breakthrough research tells us to do. These successful schools do things differently.

Here’s a taste of what I found:

  • Relationships are important. But certain ones that you are ignoring actually turn out to be of critical “make or break” value. 
  • Building brains fast. Certain events literally add new brain cells at double the rate of every other strategy you can use. More brain cells are correlated with better learning and memory. Learn what the secret is and what you should do ASAP.
  • Hope is critical. How much hope and optimism your kids feel at your school is more important for boosting achievement than their IQ. Learn how to build hope and optimism in 5 simple steps. Without it, all other strategies will fail.
  • The missing ingredient. High expectations do matter, but only if your school does this one critical thing. Without it, you’ll get disillusionment and staff burnout. Learn what the missing ingredient is and your test scores will skyrocket.
  • The Jensen Secret. Out of all the strategies used by high-performing schools, one of them is the most fundamental. The best metaphor comes from your own computer. Learn what it is and learn exactly what to do about it.

I’ve read the 722 published studies on high-poverty and high-achievement schools; there are lots of good ideas out there. Most likely, as a school leader, you already know the concepts. But I have discovered what REALLY matters and what doesn’t. And now, I’ve put these special factors into an easily digested, highly engaging, classroom-practical, research-based, 3-day “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” event

In this amazing 3-Day workshop, you’ll also learn the little-known “catalytic sub-factors” that make the others work. Here’s a nutrition analogy: you know that you need to take your calcium (yawn) for bone strength. But you must also take magnesium at the same time to help absorb the calcium—at a 2-1 ratio! Now, here’s the “kicker”. It is Vitamin D (sunshine!) that helps metabolize the calcium!

Now, you too can learn how to turn your school into a “believe or not” success story with “tears of joy” test scores. Hundreds of schools nationwide are already doing it. The poverty and student achievement problem has been researched for more than 30 years. Pieces of the solution have shown up in the popular books and press. Clues came from sociology, classroom teachers and even neuroscience.

Now it’s time. Time to get started. This inspirational, strategy-building workshop comes up fast this coming summer! Here’s your opportunity for the highly engaging, classroom-practical, research-based, 3-day “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” event.  It can boost attendance, exceed AYP, and turn your school into a high-performance, blue-ribbon winning success story using 100% research-based strategies.

Nothing is more relevant to you as an educator than your brain or the brains of your students, parents, or staff. Scientific teaching, passionate teaching and brain-based education are here to stay and I can bring it to your staff like no other.

This Amazing Success-Builder Workshop is a One-of-a-Kind Opportunity, but You Need to See it, Hear it and Seize it Now!

Give your staff the whole school year to take advantage of this startling research. Give them the time to implement the practical strategies. Get trained by the original, brain-based trainer that is making a difference in the lives of thousands.

Read closely to decide if I am the right person for your upcoming professional development event to bring your school closer to success with kids from poverty.

You can get effective staff development; in fact, nearly instant staff development with tools for engagement every staff can use. I am about fierce teaching; the type that brings a driven, mission-focused, passionate teacher to school every day. No, teachers aren’t born that way; they are developed.

Here’s an example:

"“I’m leaving this workshop thinking, “If you think I was good then, you ain’t seen nothing yet!” Thank you for this…I will be forever changed, and over the years, thousands of children will benefit from this.” Linda Jo H., Angleton, TX

“This is a MUST for anyone working with students in poverty. The brain can change, can you?” Tammy H., Bartlett, TX

“Thank you for your exemplary teaching and expertise. You’ve given me the tools and the hope to believe that I really can positively impact the skill levels of my students, and the direction I should focus on to make the greatest progress with them. I came here feeling defeated and am leaving feeling empowered.” Mindy R., Belchertown, MA

“By all means attend. It will change your life and the students’ life.” Michael W., Holden, WV
“What an amazing workshop! I learned more about kids in 3 days then 4 years of teacher prep.” Jenny C., Springfield, IL

You Can Learn How to Boost Attendance,
Exceed AYP, and Turn Your School into an Amazing,
High-Performance, Blue Ribbon Success Story!

This remarkable and practical program reveals the startling links between the latest brain/mind research and the proven strategies to reach today’s children from poverty.

“This is my twenty-eight year in education and this training makes me “hungry” for the new possibilities for the coming year. I can’t wait to share.” Janice H., Wallace, SC

“This workshop will change the way you interact with your kids & cause the kids to change the way they interact with you.” Marlyn C., Charlotte, NC

“This is not your standard PD conf. Jensen presents an amazing amount of scientific and practical information you can share with your staff & put into practice Monday.” Jeanette C., Radford, VA

“Absolutely! The science is convincing. There’s no excuse for not learning how to make the changes.” Denise T., Radford, VA

Join us for an engaging, fast-moving, results-oriented program that’s the only one of its kind. You can learn to change your teaching and school environment in ways that successfully reach students of poverty.

This powerful program gives you:

  • Secrets to understanding the impoverished brain: Learn four ways it is physically and behaviorally different.
  • Surprising insights into student behavior and solutions to the challenging behavior you see.
  • Seven golden maximizers that can make significant, positive changes.
  • Strategies for engagement, learning and achievement you can use to get proven, consistently positive results!

Almost 20% of America’s students live in poverty. Do you have specific strategies and a clear plan to help them succeed? If so, great. That’s the first step. But wait... is it (your plan) truly working?

Here’s how to tell:teacher workshop brain based learning

  • Are you creating daily success stories?
  • Do parents brag about your school to other parents?
  • Are all of your kids feeling safe in school?
  • How often is your school mentioned positively in the local papers?
  • Do kids run TO school instead of away from school?
  • What’s the conversation like in the staff lounge?
  • What’s the trend in your test scores?

If you are not proud of how your school is doing, it’s time for a change... You may want to know about the upcoming highly engaging, classroom-practical, research-based, 3-day “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” event.

“OMG! This workshop totally changed my beliefs about “problem” kids. I am going to be a much more effective teacher now!” Jen D., Elkhart, IN

“A life changing experience! More importantly a mind changing experience!” Shalauna M., Fort Wayne, IN

“Great seminar! You will learn a lot. It is beneficial professionally & personally.” Tana H., Ft. Wayne, IN

“If you want to make BIG changes in student engagement/behavior and YOU, go see Jensen. It will change the way you THINK about teaching.” Michelle P., Myrtle Beach, SC

“This is one of the most valuable workshops I have ever attended. The content is extremely relevant and Eric’s facilitation of learning make continued growth and learning highly probable!” Kathy R., Palmetto, FL


Now You Can Create Success with Kids From Poverty

Join us for an engaging, fast-moving, results-oriented program that’s the only one of its kind. This is differentiation at its best. You can learn to differentiate your teaching and school environment in ways that successfully reach students of poverty.

This powerful workshop gives you:

  1. Secrets to how the brains of students from poverty are vastly different
  2. Seven golden maximizers that can make significant, positive changes in their brains. These are what the scientists call “true enrichment”, not the pseudo enrichment most educators have heard of.
  3. Strategies you can use to get proven, consistently positive, results!

The bad news is that poverty can make devastating, chronic changes in the human brain. The good news is that there are powerful solutions that hundreds of schools have successfully implemented that clearly demonstrate students from poverty can achieve. BUT, you need three things.

First, you need genuine HOPE based on the science, not fantasy. This can only come from staff that truly understand and believe in the potential of students from poverty. This cutting edge staff development program provides tons of science-based hope that fuels enthusiasm and positive morale.  Second, you need the facts. You’ll get the real science behind the changes in brains of those from poverty. Learn what forces shape their brain and literally change it on a daily basis. Finally, you’ll get brain-based strategies that not only change the brain, but just may change you!  

DISCOVER how to skyrocket student performance by applying cutting-edge brain-based strategies to help your lowest performing students.
REDUCE classroom stress by cracking the code‚ of how our brain changes and other learning challenges.
TRANSFORM frustration and drudgery to hope and positive accomplishment.
RETURN to work armed with powerful knowledge and practical skills for solving previously unsolvable problems and reaching previously unreachable learners.

Agenda, Curriculum and Course Outline

1. DAY ONE: 8:30 – 4:30pm


  • Greetings/Introductions
  • Mindset #1: Fierce Urgency (We’re Running Out Of Time)
  • Mindset #2: Empathy (Not Sympathy Or Indifference)
  • Mindset #3: Brains Are Designed To Change (Do You Know How?)
    How experience changes the brain
    Genes or Environment—What matters most now?
  • Mindset #4: Teachers Are The Single Greatest Difference-Maker
  • What the data tells us about teaching expertise
  • Mindset #5: No Excuses (At All)
  • Examples of high-performing, high poverty schools
  • Why Higher Expectations & Gaudy Goals (Research & Practical)
  • What Are School Mindsets & How To Shift Them
  • Practice With New Mindsets
  • Learning To Use Better Formative Assessment Feedback
  • Relevance Of Getting Buy-In To Student Learning
  • Building The Big 4: Behavior, Attitude, Capacity & Effort
  • Engagement Strategies Shared
  • Review/Summarize The Learning
  • Closing

2. DAY TWO: 8:30 – 4:30pm


  • Greetings/Introductions
    Review from Yesterday
    Introduction of personal and student de-stressors
    Retrieval strategies
    Fierce Urgency of Now- with adolescent boys
    Capacity Building- Top 5 strategies

    • Teach content-specific study skills
    • Working Memory
    • Reasoning skills
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing practice

    Student Effort-Builders – Top 5 Strategies

    • Compelling Goals w/ Stellar states
    • 3:1 Feedback Ratios w/ quality
    • Boost Hope & Grit
    • Interdependency
    • Relationships

    Review/Summarize The Learning

3. DAY THREE: 8:30 – 4:30pm


  • Greetings/Introductions
  • Review from Yesterday
  • Student Attitude Builders – Top 5
    • Role Model
    • Relationships
    • Foster academic optimism
    • Teach coping tools
    • Attribute cause
      & effect w/ pers. resp.
  • How and where you can make positive changes
  • Student Behavior Builders – Top 5
    • Relationships
    • C & S rules/norms
    • Teach How to Behave
    • Engage & Redirect
    • Foster Voice &
      Sense of Control
  • Engagement activities & Energizers
  • The use of “programs” vs. “practices”
  • School Climate Builders
  • Completing Gaudy Goals
  • Implementation and 16 school change ideas
  • Developing Personal support
  • How to share topics with your staff
  • Taking the Plan to School
  • Additional Resources
  • Review/Summarize The Learning
  • Closing

June 11-13, 2018 San Antonio, TX
June 14-16, 2018 San Antonio, TX

July 16-18, 2018 San Antonio, TX
July 19-21, 2018 San Antonio, TX

Workshop hours:
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Only $495

Book Poverty and teaching workshop

“Please…don’t hesitate to sign up! Attending this workshop has changed the way I will be teaching in the future.” Kimberly N., San Antonio, TX

“ This will be the best workshop you’ve been fortunate to attend. If not, pay your $ & go!” Suzanne P., San Antonio, TX

“This workshop was one of the best I’ve attended. It was a real eye-opener, that offered research and activities that will promote learning.” Lisa W., San Antonio, TX

“I have been an educator for 25 years, this is the best PD I have ever attended. I have more take-aways than any workshop previously.” Joyce B., San Antonio, TX

“Don’t miss the opportunity, you will view teaching and the brain in a whole new way. This was the best workshop I’ve ever attended.” Brandi G., San Antonio, TX

“Do yourself a favor and attend. You will learn more in 3 ½ days than you could ever imagine.” Kelley S., Regina, SK, Canada

“Amazing! A must! You will not only leave with an abundance of new strategies, you will leave as a new teacher!” Maricela C., San Antonio, TX


REGISTER NOW and help students with genuine hope backed by science, and a step-by-step action plan!

Poverty has been analyzed and studied for years. The results are in: poverty changes brains. But did you know how it does the damage? Here are six of the many ways:

  • Nutritional deficits. A myriad of food deficiencies lead to chronic behavioral, emotional and cognitive problems.
  • Emotional Support. Unfortunately, these students need support the most and get it the least.
  • Stress/Distress. There are far more daily stressors for those in poverty and they have fewer resources to
    deal with them.
  • Health Issues. A constant challenge for the poor, staying healthy is but a dream for most. But health affects everything.
  • Cognitive Stimulation. These students get less frequent and lower levels of quality intellectual fueling.
  • Safety Issues. These students are chronically unsafe, leading to changes in their brain.

Recent studies suggest as many as 20% of America’s students are from poverty. This means over 10 million children from K-12 are victims of a wide range of negative, synergistic factors that debilitate the brain and often cause under-performance. But this workshop is different. It gives you the science behind poverty and the practical strategies to succeed with every student at your school.

You will learn dozens of highly effective, innovative, real-world strategies for reaching these types of students. This workshop includes the all-new, 5-step program that proves you can reach every single learner. But you have to know how to do it!

Many students live in poverty, and Eric Jensen gives you the brain-based connections and will teach you a wealth of practical strategies to simplify your job and help you focus on success.

  • Why a student’s problems may be triggered by what he eats (or doesn’t eat) for breakfast

  • Why your students literally may have lost part of her capacity to pay attention— the impact of abuse and trauma on the brain

  • The biology of hope—how optimism, hope, and a compelling future actually trigger positive chemical changes in the brain

  • Gain 11 specific activities that can help the brain of poverty re-create itself for better learning, improved memory, and higher emotional intelligence

  • Why positive social bonding is vital for most learners and the critical missteps to avoid

  • Proven brain-based models for transforming staff helplessness into positive empowerment

  • The shocking truth about ADHD and how to help hyperactive children succeed without drugs

  • The uncanny neurological connection between nutrition, diet, exercise, lighting, and the most common causes of problems

Now, when you learn all of these powerful insights from my multi-day Poverty workshop, what would you guess would happen? Results! Read what one participant just said…

“I was impressed with the many strategies that I’ll take back to school. I thought it was phenomenal and will have a huge, immediate impact on my students and the staff I work with! Change nothing!” Mr. Fisher, Amherst, NY

"It's so powerful! You will gain valuable knowledge and many useful strategies!"
J. Gillette, Painted Post, NY

“Great modeling of solid, research-based teaching strategies. I was really engaged the entire time. One of the best and applicable staff developments I have ever attended.”
- Ms. Angelo, Orlando, FL

“This is the most important professional development you could ever attend. It will change my classroom forever.” Christy D., N. Richland Hills, TX

“Brains can change. Students are a gift. Change kids state(s).” Nalleli R., Tracy, CA

“One of the best workshops I’ve attended. Get your brain ready to learn, you will leave tired each day.” Beth M., Houston, TX

“Definitely worth every penny, so useful and what our school needs as an additional layer for success.” Gale P., Cypress, TX

We hear those ALL the time. Yes, you too may be the next “raving fan.”

This workshop has the research—but it’s also practical.

For example, you’ll learn:

  • The biology of violence: how to reach students who are hooked on anger
  • The shocking impact of stress on student learning and step-by-step methods for
    retraining the injured brain
  • Why and how active engagement in the arts can subtly restructure the brain for improved
    cognition and reduced hostility
  • Why most  discipline  programs will fail on these kids and what to do about it.
  • Little-known facts about brains of poverty—Learn how shifts in environment and
    communication can reduce problems by 20-30%
  • How threat and trauma "real or implied" can change brain chemistry forever—unless you
    do this one thing.
  • Why some students learn less the harder they try
  • Why and how many schools may actually damage student brains
  • The impact of arrested brain development on learning and cognitive style
  • How and why your school building may be causing learning problems and a simple
    3-step solution that can reduce student declines within 30 days
  • How simple eating habits impact a child’s growing brain


Imagine the positive revolution in your school or district when ALL students begin to achieve because you understand how to get the best out of every brain!

You'll Discover How Easy It Can Be to Transform a
D or F Student into a B (or Even an A) Student.

poverty and teaching challengesIf you've read this far, you KNOW it's for you. And it's risk-free. You've got a satisfaction or money-back guarantee. So, register now, before it's filled & you have to wait another year. Your future is important and this may insure its success. 

To Your Success,
Eric Jensen, President, Jensen Learning

P.S.  This workshop is especially powerful for you if your school’s not performing up to standards. You'll get the powerhouse tools you need the most to help create a school-wide turnaround. Learn what fosters optimal learning. Come to the workshop, bring your supervisor, principal, colleagues, even a policy-maker! But register soon, this workshop has a waiting list every year.

Teaching and Engaging with Poverty in Mind Teacher Workshop

June 11-13, 2018 San Antonio, TX
June 14-16, 2018 San Antonio, TX

July 16-18, 2018 San Antonio, TX
July 19-21, 2018 San Antonio, TX

Workshop hours:
8:30am to 4:30pm

Only $495



Jensen Learning