Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It’s a school, not a plantation: Five ways to end black teachers’ disengagement in the classroom - The Hechinger Report

It’s a school, not a plantation: Five ways to end black teachers’ disengagement in the classroom - The Hechinger Report:

It’s a school, not a plantation: Five ways to end black teachers’ disengagement in the classroom

Changes to consider

Pamela Lewis
Meeka’s teachers used to always tell her that staring at the clock would only make time move slower. Now grown up and a teacher herself, Meeka couldn’t help glaring at it as if it were responsible for how bored she was listening to Mrs. Brown painstakingly review the senseless rubric her group would be assessed with. Seemed like white teachers needed a manual to even breathe. Meeka looked at the clock again. She spotted Mrs. Brown heading toward her table to “check in.” Attempting to look busy, Meeka doodled on her agenda sheet:
Thirteen years, two months, three days, and twenty-two minutes until retirement …
I provide this bit of expository writing to illustrate an oft-overlooked point: Teachers of color are often as disengaged as their students in our nation’s urban classrooms.
While there are more students of color than white students currently attending public schools, teachers of color still only make up 18 percent of the teaching population.
What’s worse is that is has become exceptionally difficult to retain the few teachers of color that remain.
Many black and brown teachers are just as disengaged with our current school system as that of their students, and like many of the children that they teach, many will eventually drop out.
So how can we increase retention rates for teachers of color?
There are several adjustments that policy makers and administrators can make.  Here are my top five:
1. Stop making us feel like we work at the plantation.
One shouldn’t compare any job to slavery.


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