If “You can’t be what you can’t see” rings true, then young Black boys in schools across the nation are suffering. Black men were once Black boys who were taught that being an educator isn’t an option. This urban legend is causing many Black boys to suffer in schools due to lack of Black male teachers.
“This is important work that we cannot do without an accurate representation of our student populations”, says Principal George Greene in Metro Atlanta.
Principal Greene has experienced the challenge of hiring Black male teachers. He would like to have more Black male teachers in his elementary school classrooms.
The challenge however is that there just simply aren’t enough. Schools districts will face several barriers for not only recruiting, but retaining talented Black male educators. The most common barrier is pay.
Getting Black men interested in the profession is key!
Reportedly only two percent of educators nationwide are Black males. Getting Black men interested early in the education is key. This starts when they are boys in classrooms.
As a father, George encourages his boys to seek areas and careers of interest. Most importantly, he serves an example of a Black male educator making a difference.
He would say to Black males interested in teaching these three things:
Our future needs you.
Young people need to see that black men can be something other than hoodlums and that a positive black male influence is key, and at times, missing in the lives of many of our students.
Pay scales are changing.
Salaries are better than they have ever been in the profession and there are many opportunities for advancement and extension throughout the field.
There is a space for you!
Whether it be teacher, interventionist, or paraprofessional, there are varied opportunities and several points of entry for those interested in the profession.
Our featured Principal, George Greene, is a charter school leader in East Point, Georgia.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.