Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Working at a Title I School...

 Let me tell you, when I got my job I was just so thrilled to finally have one that there were probably some things I did not think to ask before actually taking the job. Sure, I'm not positive it would have changed my choices, but perhaps I would have gone out for interviews I had gotten after I said 'yes' since I had yet to hear from HR. One thing I was not told at the interview when I was offered the job was that it was a Title I school, which would have been a pretty good fact to know. I certainly have nothing against them, and I know often these schools and students need a lot of help, but I was not prepared as a first year teacher at the age of twenty-two to deal with THIS.

Before school even started, I was asked to be one of the cheer sponsors. I had mentioned doing drill team through most of high school and dancing before that, and apparently that made me a prime candidate. Then we were told that there were only six girls total, so we would be combining the squads and working together, which was really for the best. It would have been, at least, if the other sponsor and I were not so completely different. I suppose that is another story for another day, though.

I was at our football game two weeks ago and I began to think about some things. I knew we were Title I, but I had never really been able to see the differences first hand. That week we were playing our new assistant principals' old school. It was quite clear they were not really wanting for much, and their demographic is VERY different. I did find this pretty interesting, since their middle school is less then ten miles away from our school.

Then I began paying attention to the details. A lot of my seventh grade boys play football, and they were thrilled to see me at the games, watching them play. While I could tell that they did not really care much about their uniforms, I found it bothered ME a lot. The other team had their name and mascot on their helmets. Their jerseys were their main school colors, were obviously their own with their name and number on them. They had the school name on the front. Despite being in middle school, their uniforms were honestly pretty legit.

Then I looked at our boys.

Plain white helmets, aside from the stains they had acquired throughout the season. White jerseys with blue numbers; no name of the boy, no name of the school. One of the boys told me that before the game they were simply thrown a jersey in their size and told to put it on, and then they would make the list so they could announce it. It made me MAD. My boys care so much about the games, and they have to dress like that.

Now, I know Title I means making sacrifices and not having much, but I did not understand it. Surely there is something that can be done. If several schools throughout our ISD have the money for things like that, shouldn't there be a way to split it up a bit better so we could get simple things like new uniforms for the football boys? At least ones that say our school name across them. I know in the scheme of things, it's a little thing, but I can imagine that the boys might have a bit more confidence in themselves if they had something a bit nicer.

Anyway, it's simply been on my mind. I know things in life are not fair, but sometimes I wish they were a little bit better.

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