The United States is incentivizing and pushing to expand the number of Black male teachers. But, how important is it really to recruit more Black male educators? Why? And what will this new approach to recruitment do for your children’s future?
Teacher Demographics: Are There Enough Black Teachers?
When we look at teacher demographics in the United States, it becomes abundantly clear that white teachers dominate the profession.
In fact, data on US teacher demographics displayed that in the years 2017-2018, a massive 79percent of teachers were white. That’s a decrease from the years 1999-2000, where 84 percent were white, but the change isn’t as monumental as we’d hoped. A 5 percent increase simply isn’t good enough.
This is worsened still when you view the demographics for Black teachers, which has actually decreased. In 1999-2000, a small 8 percent of teachers in the USA were Black. In 2017-2018, it dipped a percentage to 7 percent.
Consider that there are 130,930 public and private K-12 schools in the U.S, and you’ll realize that there’s a good chance most children will have never been taught by a Black educator.
Teacher Demographics: Are There Enough Male Teachers?
In terms of gender, in 2017-2018, 76 percent of public school teachers were female, while 24 percent were male. Specifically, there was a deficient percentage of male teachers at the elementary school level — a minuscule 11 percent.
So, when we combine these statistics, it becomes abundantly clear: There are not enough Black male educators. Period.
Why Children Need to Be Taught by Black Male Teachers
The reality is that this article is not about the teacher. Quite the contrary, despite them being the focus of the piece. Instead, the importance is on the children.
Studies have demonstrated that having a Black male teacher — specifically between third and fifth grade — lowers the dropout rate among Black male students by a whopping 30 percent.
Further, it increases the chances of Black students finding motivation and aspiration to attend higher education. Now, suppose for a moment that 100 percent of that 30 percent that didn’t drop out became teachers. They would then inspire the next generation; thus, the dropout rate would reduce more and more as time went by.
It’s a snowball effect that can, quite literally, change the world as we know it.
Schools Should Recruit Black Male Educators for Their Student’s Future
The world has changed. We’re more accepting. We embrace culture. We preach about the importance of diversification and unity all at once. But we still have so far to go.
Why not begin this journey in our classrooms? It’s a sure place to filter upwards throughout generations.
We’re not saying that Black male educators are “better” than any other great teacher dedicated to improving their students’ lives. We are saying that, specifically for Black male students who have the highest rate of dropping out of full-time education, there’s an undeniable positive impact of being taught by Black male educators. These teachers are people who they feel they can relate to and not feel dismissed or pushed aside.
So, it’s time to prioritize Black students who have felt discriminated against for centuries. It’s time to give them a positive role model. We all know that, during the course of their career, teachers can affect thousands of lives. Black pupils deserve that same impact. By recruiting men of color, you allow Black students to feel understood. That sense of understanding will translate into academic progress, ensuring the world changes for the better every day that child attends school.