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FiT Resources for Schools

Having students who are homeless in the classroom can admittedly be challenging, necessitating ingenuity, creativity, and patience. Yet it is important to remember that the school can be a vitally important part of the homeless student’s life, for it can present the student with a sense of stability. Teachers play a major role.

Listed are some of the common frustrations experienced by students who are homeless and their teachers:

For students: 

  • Ashamed of where they live
    (especially if at a shelter)
  • Teased by other students about homelessness, hygiene, and inabilities
  • Misunderstood by parents
  • Difficulty adjusting to new school, magnified by situation
  • No place to do homework
    (or quiet place for themselves)
  • Developmental delay augments feelings of failure

For teachers:

  • Students may have lived in many places, attending different schools with different teaching methods.
  • No school records.
  • Need to assess educational needs without prior records.
  • Need to do a quick assessment of student as formal measures are too time consuming.
  • Knowledge that the student may move soon.
  • Other students may react negatively. 
  • Students may have difficulty trusting.
  • Inability to contact parents in an emergency.
  • Parents often emotionally available. 
  • Homework completion can be difficult. 


Additional resources: