South Georgia Tech hosts professional development workshop for educators
Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D., was the recently featured speaker at a one-day professional development workshop hosted by South Georgia Technical College. The workshop was free of charge for educators in Sumter, Macon, Marion, Crisp, Schley, and Webster counties. Dr. Payne is the founder of aha! Process and an established author, speaker, publisher and career educator. She has written or co-authored more than a dozen books on issues of poverty in the areas of education, social services, business, communities, churches, relationships, and leadership.
The professional development workshop was held in the South Georgia Technical College John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the Americus campus. South Georgia Tech used federal grant funds that were designated to create and enhance opportunities for teachers’ professional growth, to improve teacher effectiveness, and to promote equitable access in schools located in rural local educational agencies or in schools with high concentrations of students from low-income families and minority students.
Dr. Payne has been recognized internationally for her book, “A Framework for Understanding Poverty.” Her goal of offering strategies for successfully raising student achievement and overcoming economic class barriers has become the cornerstone of aha! Process’ K-12 work, used with school districts across the county. She also works with higher education and community groups with a focus on creating sustainable success for everyone. With consultants and publications around the world, aha! Process helps communities move individuals, families, and entire neighborhoods out of poverty and into sustainability and growth.
Her work stems from more than 30 years of experience in public schools as a high school department head, principal, and central office administrator of staff development. She has been hailed as an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and overcoming the hurdles of poverty. After changing the conversation in education to focus on poverty, Payne’s work has expanded into social services, criminal justice, healthcare, the workplace and more.
“South Georgia Technical College was pleased to be able to bring a speaker of Dr. Payne’s caliber to this area and share her knowledge and expertise with educators in our six county service area,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford. “This was an exceptional workshop and provided tremendous insight into the challenges of different economic realities.”
Dr. Payne shared 10 actions to educate students, identified cognitive strategies and research about language in children and how it differs by economic groups. She listed resources needed to help build stability, discussed mental models for poverty, mental models for middle class, and mental models for wealth. She also did an exercise with workshop participants that presented the challenges associated with living in poverty, middle class, and wealth.