ARTICLE

Strategies for Teaching Highly Mobile Students

The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) advocates tailoring strategies to address three areas of unique need for highly mobile students.

The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) advocates tailoring strategies to address three areas of unique need for highly mobile students.

Affective needs involve issues of emotional security and motivation. Teachers should:

  • Create a stable learning environment with a structured routine;
  • Assign a “buddy” to new students to introduce them to the classroom and school;
  • Handle disruptions in a private and respectful manner;
  • Make time to talk to students on a personal level;
  • If a student suddenly leaves school, have farewell letters inserted in the student’s records for forwarding to his or her new school.

Academic needs deal with teaching strategies. In seeking to meet them:

  • Create a stable learning environment with a structured routine;
  • Plan mini-lessons and units that can be completed in limited periods of time;
  • Include a variety of levels in reading materials about the same content;
  • Assess these students’ interests to hook them into learning;
  • Give students credit for partially completed work.

Technical needs include supports for students’ general well-being. In seeking to meet them:

  • Keep a supply of healthy snacks and extra school supplies;
  • Identify and connect with school and district support staff, including guidance counselors, homeless liaisons and the district’s director of special services;
  • Consider fostering a partnership with a community tutoring program.

For additional information and resources, visit NCHE’s Publications and Products website.