"If we didn’t have land trust and we didn’t have Title 1, we wouldn’t have money for (para-professionals)," she said.
Rep. Jack Draxler, R-Logan, asked whether teaching at a Title 1 school was like pole vaulting, in that a person can study the theory of the sport but can't be competitive without real-world practice.
Gesteland said that educational training is important for finding effective teachers, but there is a personality aspect that makes someone a good fit for a school with low-income and highly diverse students.
"You can’t walk into a Title 1 school thinking, 'I’m coming to my job,'" Conley said. "It’s got to be more than that."
Borrowing Draxler's sports metaphor, Conley said there are many excellent teachers at Glendale Middle School, but the school really saw success when they came together as a team.
"They were like the incredible 100-meter dash sprinter," he said. "We needed to put together the math football team where everybody relies on everybody."
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