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5 Terms Every Black Male Educator should know (and practice)

The Language of Leadership: 5 Terms Every Black Male Educator Should Know (and practice) 

Spoiler Alert: The five (5) terms are listed in the next sentence. 

So you don’t have to scroll too far, let me begin this blog with the 5 terms: 1). Emotional Intelligence, 2). Collective Intelligence, 3) Conflict Mitigation, and 4) Facilitation and 5) Collaboration. These are all skills that enhance the ways in which we relate to ourselves and engage the people around us. 

Looking back, I believe my lack of knowledge, tools and efficacy with these terms were contributing factors to me quitting teaching at the end of the 2015-16 school year. I was kind, cordial and professional with my colleagues, but just enough to keep me under the radar and off a professional development plan (PDP). My mindset in 2016 was “I love working with students, but you can have the adults.” And by adults, I mean, fellow teachers, instructional coaches, APs, Principals, etc. As a result, I didn’t feel motivated, nor did I have the skills to work with my colleagues to lead transformative action to increase student joy, belonging and achievement in my school. I share more about my experiences in this vlog

So I left.

When I speak to other Black men in the BMEsTalk community, many of them express similar challenges and frustrations. You see, as classroom educators we receive a disproportionate amount of training and professional development (some good and some not-so-good) to prepare and equip us to work with students. However, when it comes to working with adults, we are left to our socialized habits and behaviors, trial and error, and, if lucky, advice from a mentor. 

So, I write to you today to share five (5) terms that every Black Male Educator should have in their “Language of Leadership” glossary. Knowing and practicing these terms can help us all with building stronger relationships, succeeding in the workplace, and achieving our career and personal goals.

Emotional Intelligence

the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. 

Collective Intelligence

can be described as a process by which a group of individuals gather and share their knowledge, lived-experience and skills for the purpose of solving a challenging or complex problem. 

Conflict Mitigation

includes all actions and processes that are sensitive to conflict and do not increase tensions aim to address causes of conflict and change the way that those involved act and perceive the issues. 


work jointly with one or more people on an activity or project


to provide opportunities and resources to a group of people that enable them to make progress and succeed.

This summer, in the BMEsTalk Catalyst, I will spend 4-days unpacking these terms (and facilitating supportive practices) with 40 Black Male Educator Leaders from across the country. 
There is still time to register.  Visit our website. Ticket sales end on June 25, 2022.

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