While walking the halls, interacting with faculty, and teaching in the classroom, Black educators have a mountain of obstacles to face within their profession. But because they are in a position to shape the minds and future of our nation’s youth—thus aiding the next generations to better the world we live in—their presence is crucial.
Keeping Black teachers in the educational profession and encouraging students to consider it as a future career relies on our collective ability to fix the daily challenges they face. By identifying some of those challenges, we can begin to bring about changes in the educational system and retain Black teachers in the process.
Challenge #1: Being The Only Black Teacher On Campus
Many Black teachers feel isolated on campus, due to the lack of Black faculty members in school districts across the country.
The feeling goes beyond racism for many, especially when a Black teacher feels like their colleagues do not understand or appreciate the cultural experiences he or she brings to the table. This problem can be exacerbated when there isn’t a sizable population of Black students at the school.
To fix this, it’s important for Black educators to have spaces where they can connect with one another and share their concerns.
Challenge #2: Being Treated As A Representative Of Your Race
Some Black teachers may feel that other faculty members expect more of them because they’re one of few Black teachers on campus. You might feel like you’re being treated as a representative of your race, rather than just another member of the faculty and staff.
Black educators must be aware that their actions are always under the microscope—a challenge all Black people must deal with regardless of occupation or status. To fix this, Black teachers should focus on their own work and excelling in a way that’s meaningful to them.
Challenge #3: Connecting With Black Students
Black teachers have the opportunity to present positive Black role models for all students, but they can face disconnect when it comes to connecting with Black students. Without support and guidance from other Black educational professionals, some of these young people may feel that there isn’t a place for them in education.
It’s vital that school districts find opportunities to bring together Black faculty members so they can offer each other support and advice on how to best serve their students. The more opportunities representation becomes available, the more likely students will feel welcome to discuss their struggles.
BMEsTalk Is Here To Listen
These are just some of the challenges Black teachers face. While we can’t fix them all at once, the key is to acknowledge them, listen and work together to come up with solutions. If you’re a Black male educator interested in finding a community that starts these kinds of conversations, click here to learn more about BMEsTalk today.