Teachers and education are universal; no obligation of caste and creed is associated with them. This widespread notion moves around the world, but when it comes to the USA, it appears to be a weaker one. There is a dire need for increasing the number of black male teachers in urban schools and districts of the country. As far as practical teaching is concerned in the classroom, black male teachers are found to have a tremendous impact. But the brutality is a huge flock of black men is present in schools in the form of custodians, or as food-service employees, or in the form of transportation workers. Even if they are found in the capacity of educators, most of them are employed in the form of physical education teachers or as a coach.Black teachers are in the minority in the classrooms and at estimation, they represent only 2% of the entire teacher population.
Recently, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is working towards black teacher recruitments. Among the several initiatives, TEACH.org, a public-private initiative is starting up a mission to aid applicants in finding appropriate places in the classrooms. However, this is not a speedy process and sometimes it is also felt that all the efforts are gone in vain. Why? Well here are the reasons with possible solutions to this problem.
As per the current data from the National Center for Education Statistics, it is found out that about 82% of public schools teachers trained in 2011-12 were whites. If a black teacher is given a classroom, there is a high likelihood that he might be only the one from two to three black appointees from the whole staff and that too in a black school. Mostly, hiring is done on ‘fit’ which just means will this person be able to meet in the school? If yes, then how much? The addition of a black man to the workforce can alter the school functionalities according to them.
The deficiency of black teachers is not limited to the classroom. It exaggerates further when the leadership roles in the schools are concerned. There is quite less possibility of finding a black teacher in the role of principal and assistant principal.
Mentoring is not a new trend with the inclusion of new educators; the expectation is that the black teachers will have someone as a mentor who considers them as their best interests and takes their professional development at heart. However, the situation is again a challenge for black teachers because now they have to find a black educator who is exceptionally willing to pair up with them and work honestly. There are many cases of young teachers taken off the track by their mentors, those who allow them to drown into the professional chasms.
On the other hand, the situation can be changed if black teachers are included in the nation’s classrooms. It could help to adapt the aspirations of the students. Diversity in the teaching force is the need of the time, and it is high time to make a commitment to it.