Black Teachers

Black kids do need Black teachers. More importantly, Black kids need teachers that care. One might think that all Black teachers have Black kids best interest in mind, but that is not always the case. I have read about the shortage of Black teachers, which is a very fundamental problem. Statistics show that Black kids are more likely to graduate high school, if they have at least one Black teacher during their elementary school years, but even with that, race should never be the determining factor for selecting teachers to work with most Black kids. In my experience as an educator I have worked with some good teachers. Unfortunately, I have also worked with some very bad teachers. Based on my observations we are overemphasizing the role race plays in the classroom.

I have met great Black educators, who were way more than just Black. It needs to be understood there experiences as Black people may have played a role in the type of teacher they are, but they have the skills, and methods that are used to actually reach the kids. If you relied solely on the fact that you were Black, you would not last long as a teacher. There is an assumption that Black teachers understand where Black kids are coming from, therefore have the ability to reach kids more effectively than white teachers. There is no way to determine that simply by looking at a persons skin color. There are Black teachers with masters degrees and doctorates who are extremely egotistical because of the educations they have received. They make it a point to distinguish themselves from the kids and Black staff members. They are usually unaware of the environments some of the Black kids we work with are living in. They hand out worksheets with little care for how the kids learn, never doing anything interactive and giving up on Black kids if they are unable to grasp the subject material.

I have met white teachers who use different teaching methods to accommodate the learning styles of kids they teach. They research to find culturally relevant material for the kids to read, and they do their best to make learning fun for the kids. Teaching Black kids should require teachers to be creative, charismatic, consistent, patient, caring, able to hold kids accountable, passionate, humble, but one thing that should rarely if ever be required is Black skin. More Black teachers that care and understand the significance of being the head of a classroom full of Black kids are desperately needed.

We must come up with some real criteria for choosing what teachers should be teaching Black kids, or any kids for that matter. Being Black should never be the determining factor for selecting teachers. Passion for education, passion for social justice, and a very clear understanding of what Black kids need in and out of the classroom should be ten times more important than the color of one’s skin.


Comments are closed.