Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Annie Blankenship Knox, J.D. Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mikela Bjork, Ph.D.

Kimberly Lium, Ed.D.


Title I, First-Year Teachers, Low-Income Students, BTSA, School Culture, White Privilege


Educational Leadership | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Liberal Studies


The purpose of this study was to examine first-year experiences by interviewing second and third-year White female teachers at the beginning of their second or third year teaching, who work in Title I, K-5 schools. The overarching goal in this study was to: (a) identify similarities and differences in first and second-year teacher experiences; and, (b) identify the struggles teachers face inside and outside of the classroom. To achieve the goal of this study, the researcher used a qualitative phenomenological method. Data from this study was viewed with critical race theory, intersectionality, and cultural capital lenses. These lenses were used to identify cultural gaps, and socioeconomic differences between White, middle-class, female teachers and their students in Title I schools.

Participants were white, female teachers in their second and third year of teaching at Title I, K-5 schools. Each participant was interviewed between December and March of their second or third year of teaching; therefore, each participant had worked through their entire first year of teaching at a Title I school. Each participant shared their experiences of their first and second year. White middle-class teachers were selected due to the possible differences in cultural capital and socioeconomic level between teachers and students. Additionally, White females represent 80% of teachers in the United States (Tale & Goldring, 2017). Participants at Title I schools are in more need of supports from their peers, mentors, and administration; however, most participants did not receive these supports. Due to the elevated needs of students at low-income schools, new teachers struggled to meet their needs and understand their cultural capital along with their own White privilege.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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