Public schools that receive special grants for students identified as ‘at-risk’. Are referred to as ‘title 1’ schools. At -risk students require temporary or ongoing academic intervention in order to pass. Teaching at title 1 school is extremely challenging, especially when most students grow up in low-income areas where violence, domestic abuse, drug addiction, and neighborhood degradation are common, everyday occurrences. 40-50% of teachers leave their jobs within the first five years in title 1 schools. Many of these students’ personal lives are so unfortunate that simply surviving is a challenge. Because they’re dealing with chronic family turmoil, many of them do not prioritize their education. A good title 1 school teacher understands the specific circumstances of each individual student’s struggles and works with them to stimulate self-motivation and inspiration. In this week’s blog, we’ll explore how important good educators are in title 1 schools, and how the student body needs them the most.
A Teacher’s Job
It’s extremely difficult to teach in low-income schools that do not have the financial resources available to provide up-to-date textbooks, classroom materials, and latest literary novels. Students who come from disadvantaged schools often have family members who attended the same high school, middle school, and elementary school. While watching their parents, grandparents, and older siblings struggle through the same troubles. They watch as their parents follow the same path as their grandparents, and think they’re destined for the same path. It’s a vicious cycle. The purpose of a good educator is to break this cycle. And often, when they do, it can be extremely personally rewarding as they watch parents cry in joy as they send their first child to get into college out into the world. Teachers at title 1 schools are more than just educators, they’re a necessary emotional support system. They are student mentors, cheerleaders, and a shoulder to lean on when struggling parents aren’t there. They are the pivotal puzzle piece to a fulfilling life path. These students need you.
Get to know your students. The quicker you familiarize yourself with each one’s personal life and hardships, the quicker you’ll be able to establish trust and understanding. Talk to each with respect, and treat them like adults. What are their interests? What makes them want to get up in the morning? What are they working towards? Each student’s story is different especially in title 1 schools, where there are a wide range of different family dynamic and levels of financial hardship. Incorporate their interests into your lessons. Make them feel special for being an individual. Some are tougher to break than others. If you keep showing the same support and kindness, they will start to grow fond of you. Create assignments are easily manageable and encourage confidence. A pat on the back goes a long way when they aren’t receiving a lot of affection at home.
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