My Experience Volunteering at a Title One School Informed My Voting Decision for This Election

Since the beginning of this year I have been volunteering at a Title 1 elementary school. For those of you who don’t know, Title One is a designation given to schools that serve an underprivileged population. I’ve been tutoring fifth graders in math and English. Here are some things I’ve learned so far from my experience:

1. Kids have the attention span of a piece of lint.

Every five seconds I have to draw their attention back to the assignment. If only they could channel the concentration they have for Fortnite with multiplication tables…

2. You’d be surprised how much children know about pop culture.

Kids know all of the latest trends, the latest celebrity gossip, and certainly more pop culture than I do! Yet they still can’t seem to remember what 3x4 is....

3. Don’t underestimate your abilities.

There’s a certain kid who is always second-guessing his answers. Whenever prompted to answer a question in front of the group, he will shrink into himself and claim that he doesn't know. He is just as good, if not better than his peers, but his low self-confidence doesn't earn him the praise he deserves.

4. Overestimating your skills is just as harmful.

One boy is constantly calling out the answers. Problem is, he’ always wrong! He makes his other classmates feel dumb when they can’t be as fast and hurts his own learning by not paying attention to the way to solve problems, not just the quick answers.

5. Teachers have way too much to do.

Teachers are constantly having to make copies, control disobedient children, help kids with disabilities, administer state-mandated tastes, and much more! There’s hardly any time to actually teach!

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My experience volunteering at a Title One school opened my eyes to the conditions within Utah classrooms. Teachers have too much on their hands, especially with even more state testing requirements being implemented within the next few years. They don’t have enough money, enough resources, enough respect...anything!

Question One on our ballots this November is proposing a ten cent increase on gas to give more money to education (and roads, but who cares about roads?). Ten cents is a small price to pay for a better educated next generation. Our children are our future. Let’s start investing in them.

 

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