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PSRP Spotlight: Aurelia White

Every month this school year, BMORE will be placing a spotlight on a different PSRP (Paraprofessional & School Related Personnel, "para") to highlight their amazing work. PSRPs are leaders who make classrooms go, and are the most underappreciated educators in Baltimore City Public Schools.

The fourth in our series is Aurelia White, who has been working in Baltimore City Public Schools for 41 years as a Title 1 Assistant, IEP Chair Assistant, Attendance Monitor, Transportation Coordinator, and many other roles. She spent the bulk of her time at Booker T. Washington, and is now serving students at ConneXions. Mrs. White grew up in East Baltimore, not far from the old Dunbar High School.

What was your experience like growing up in Baltimore City's Schools?

I didn't have to take the bus, I was able to walk to school for elementary, middle, and high school. All my siblings went to the same school which was pretty cool because it was like a family there. The neighborhood there were nothing but families there.

How do you think that is different now for kids going to Baltimore City's Public Schools?

It's different because now kids come from all over, so you don't even know them like you did in your community. You were able to know everybody and everybody knew you. Now that kids are bused from all over, I don't feel like there's any unity anymore like it used to be.

At what point did you start thinking that you wanted to work in schools?

I wanted to be a fashion designer when I heard that BCPSS was hiring, so I filled out an application. Once I got in I actually liked what I was doing.

What did you like about it?

What I liked about it was the kids back then were more respectful than today. The difference now is in order to get that respect from the kids you have to give it. You have to show them the way, and by showing them, they're able to give it back to you, where before, they just respected you from the start regardless.

What was your role when you first got started in the system?

I was a Title 1 assistant to a teacher and I took the lowest group of kids to work in a small group inside of the classroom. My relationship with the teacher was nice, I still remember her name it was Ms. Snowden, an older white lady. She was serious. We worked all the way until the end of the day and I helped out with papers and anything else she needed.

Have you had other relationships with other teachers where it didn't work out?