School is the primary foundation for building a child’s education and their expectations for relationships, friendships, and day-to-day structure. In today’s global world–and in the light of racial disparities highlighted during 2020’s BLM movement–it’s more important than ever to implement a diverse educational workforce to allow kids a more integrative upbringing with professionals that reflect their background.
The Importance of Black Male Educators
It’s incredibly common for black boys to go through their entire educational experience without having a teacher that looks like them. However, the presence of black male teachers has a positive impact on black kids that no other kind of teacher does.
Because black male teachers are able to share their lived experience with young black boys, they’re better able to create a space for black boys to achieve academic success. Without them, these boys are underserved by teachers that don’t push them.
The presence of black male teachers not only leads to higher graduation rates, better behavior, and higher test scores, but it also allows other students to witness a black man in a leadership position, expanding the ways in which people perceive Black men.
Black Male Educators and Their Lessons
Thanks to modern media, the dominant perception of the black man is as either a tough thug or a celebrity, athlete, or entertainer. By being exposed to black male teachers and their unique perspectives, black boys are more able to overcome these stereotypes and grow into wholesome adults.
Black male teachers develop curriculums that directly align with the needs of their black male pupils. They help young black boys learn to:
- Express feelings
- Listen to and respect the feelings of others
- Self-regulate emotions
- Advocate for themselves
- Become more socially aware
- Increase their ability to use their voices
And because of their shared lived experiences, they can call upon cultural touchstones to maximize learning opportunities and express complex problems in ways that black boys can more easily comprehend.
Additionally, black male teachers have a different approach towards discipline. Instead of having a misbehaving child report to the principal’s office, black male teachers are more likely to implement de-escalation tactics in their classroom. This firm, but fair approach further allows a child to develop as an intentional, emotionally mature member of society.
By having black male educators at an educational institute, their students are exposed to a more diverse community, allowing for further development as global citizens and well-rounded citizens moving past instinctual biases based on race.
Black Male Educators Deserve Reparations
Some people say that this isn’t fair: black male teachers shouldn’t have to shoulder the pressure of confronting systemic and institutional challenges. Black male teachers signed up to teach, not solve racial challenges. But their social sway remains a fact–and to increase the population of black male teachers, these professionals should receive increased pay for their role not only as an educational figure, but as a role model for the next generation of citizens.