The teacher crisis during the pandemic has grown, creating a loss of teachers because of death, fear of becoming ill, or what I call the “pre-existing failures of public education.”
Becoming a teacher in this season isn’t at the top of the job market list.
But there are male educational leaders of color who are inspiring the next generation of teachers who will be the future of education.
Organizations like Profound Gentlemen are pushing the needle on policies, partnerships, and programming designed to help retain and recruit male educators of color.
The impact of representation in public school classrooms isn’t just about having a Black or brown face standing before students; it’s about having someone who is intentionally reflecting greatness, hope, and possibilities as representation.
Jason Terrell and Mario Jovan Shaw co-founded the organization which is still providing an innovative program that supports male educators of color six years later.
The work of the impact and community teams is building bridges that will connect even more young males of color to classrooms.
As a community builder and member of PG, our Executive Director is often connecting me to aspiring brothers who want to become engaged in the field of education, especially with a focus on social justice and special education.
Recently, I’ve been mentoring Noah Duncan, a junior studying to become a special education teacher at the University of Wisconsin.
By the time he was about thirteen years old, he would occasionally help his mother after school. As a Chicago Public Schools elementary teacher, he would assist her with filing paperwork as well as shadowing her while at work.
This is one memory that stands out to him from his childhood. He attributes this to his discovery that this could be something he could see himself doing as a career path. Now, PG is helping him become a impactful male educator of color in the classroom.
Connecting with young males aspiring to become educators in high school and college is the first step in recruitment.
Although Noah was inspired to teach at a young age, it can be challenging for males of color to maintain inspiration when there’s a lack of representation in their training programs.
Collegiate programs that lack male educators of color as professors, deans, and advisers are the equivalent to students P-12 who rarely, if ever, experience a male educator of color.
Darryl Bradsaw is a teacher in North Carolina and a PG community builder who is leading efforts to advance educational policies that will improve the implementation of the teacher pipeline and curriculum.
Advancing these educational policies will allow innovation in the practices of teachers and educational resources. The next generation of male educators or color are interested in not just seeing equity but doing the work of ensuring all children receive better educational outcomes.
Male educators of color can help bring a balance of reality and aspirations to conversations in classrooms that help open the minds of students about real life situations.
Our work with PG is also helping to improve and address the lack of support for social emotional learning and mental health for males or color in public schools.
We’re connecting with males of color in high school classrooms and college lecture halls who want to be a role model in the community and an advocate to students and their families.
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.