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Conflict Mitigation for Black Male Educators

Conflict Mitigation for Black Male Educators

Conflict is something that’s impossible to avoid. Whether someone is at home, in the classroom, or at work, there will inevitably be some form of conflict that the person comes into contact with. Since the presence of conflict is unavoidable, it’s crucial for Black male educators to know how to best mitigate the conflict. 

Many school districts offer conflict resolution training. For those that lack this support or who would like help geared more towards Black male educators, however, here are several tips to keep in mind when looking for the best possible resolutions. 

Conflict Between Students

When you have a group of students in the same location for any prolonged amount of time, you can guarantee that some form of conflict is going to arise. It may be students fighting over a piece of equipment or a girl — the object doesn’t matter as much as a quick resolution. BMEs can follow four steps in a conflict that’s of a smaller scale: Stop, Observe, Assess, and React. 

When a conflict is larger in nature, it may be necessary to involve more steps to come to a resolution such as: 

  • 1. Separate and take some deep breaths to cool off. 

  • 2. Give the students a chance to share their feelings and listen to each other. This will likely be better off, as they’re guided on how to properly communicate their feelings. 

  • 3. Students should then take responsibility for their actions and identify ways to improve. 

  • 4. Students can then acknowledge why the conflict happens and then learn to forgive one another. 

Avoid the “Black Angry” Stigma

When dealing with Black students who are in a conflict, as a Black male educator, you’ll be more sensitive to the stigma that comes with being a Black man who is angry. You often become the “angry Black man” and can be villainized without cause of provocation. Suddenly, you’re the one that instigated the conflict and needs to be “controlled.”

As a Black man, you know how incredibly frustrating this is. Help your Black students avoid this by stressing to them the importance of staying calm and level-headed. Remind them to stay calm and not to raise their voice. Speak clearly and politely without yelling or becoming heated. If they’re unable to do this, instruct them to walk away and collect themselves before continuing resolution. 

Proper Conflict Resolution = Emotional Intelligence

Studies have shown that those who can practice proper conflict management have superior emotional intelligence or EI. EI is a set of skills that include four capacities:  

  • – Properly perceive, evaluate, and express emotions
  • – Generate feelings to facilitate thinking
  • – Understand emotion and emotional knowledge
  • – Regulate emotions to increase intellectual growth

According to many experts, emotional intelligence is one of the best indicators for future success and wealth. As Black male educators, it’s important that you’re helping your students learn to develop this crucial skill. Set them up for futures that are bright and full of promise by teaching them the art of conflict mitigation early and often. 

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