The lack of representation of Black men in education is a problem that has been overlooked for far too long.
Not having representation in schools and colleges does a huge disservice to young Black boys who aspire to become educators, because there are no successful Black men in education for them to look up to.
So—how do we get more high school Black males into the teaching profession?
#1 Celebrate The Profession
One of the greatest obstacles that prevent Black boys from entering into the teaching profession is society’s low regard for it, and especially for male teachers.
When you walk the hallways of most educational institutions, you’ll find posters celebrating all sorts of things like sports teams, notable figures, local history, and motivational quotes. But what you don’t see is a celebration of the educator profession itself, and how important it is for our collective future.
By displaying posters in common areas such as halls or cafeterias celebrating everything that makes a Black male educator great, we can show young boys that what they have to offer the profession is valued. And it could be just what’s needed to nudge a reluctant young man towards pursuing a career in education.
The more we celebrate the profession in a visual and tangible manner, the more we can promote awareness and inspire young Black men who are considering becoming educators.
#2 Make Them Aware Of The Possibilities
The second thing Black boys need to know about becoming an educator is that it’s a sustainable way to see the world and have rich cultural experiences you never thought possible.
Education can open up the doors to teaching internationally in countries all over the world. Some organizations will even pay for you to move to a certain country and provide you with housing and other things in exchange for teaching classes.
But many people don’t realize that education can provide these kinds of opportunities. So it’s important to make this information as accessible as possible.
#3 It Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Study Something Else In College
Being an educator doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go to college for education. A lot of Black male educators are certified in and have studied other professions.
It’s crucial that Black boys go to college and study what they want to study. By cultivating skills in the specific areas they’re interested in, they can then later bring their unique knowledge and expertise to the classroom.
Because even though we desperately need more Black male educators, we also need
Black male business administrators, lawyers, medical professionals, engineers, marketing directors, IT managers, and a host of other fields and roles.
It’s critical to show Black boys that they can be successful in any field, so they can become role models for the next generation while they’re leading the classroom.
Mentorship is Key
In conclusion, mentorship is a key factor in the success of Black boys who aspire to become educators. The more we show Black boys that they can be successful and achieve their goals as an educator while still pursuing other fields, the better chance there will be for us to increase the representation of Black men in education and see these children thrive.