Dennis Sangister, a veteran black male middle school teacher, recounted with great frustration sitting in on department meetings and having his comments about how to address the social-emotional and academic challenges facing students of color discounted by white colleagues on the faculty. For Sangister — and many of the other 26 black male participants in a recent study of black male teachers’ school-based experiences — these recurring experiences led him to believe his colleagues saw him as intellectually inferior (Bristol, 2014).
Another teacher in this study, George Little, described having to serve in more disciplinary roles when compared to his colleagues. Administrators assigned him and the other black male teachers to administrative duties such as monitoring or “policing” the school door during dismissal. Like the other black male teachers in the study, Little believed that administrators and his colleagues saw him as a behavior manager first and as a teacher second.
Combine Little’s observation with research indicating that black men have one of the highest rates of turnover in the teaching profession, and we are left with the question of how schools and districts can better support black male teachers.
This article describes the work of the Boston Teacher Residency Male Educators of Color Network, which provides social-emotional support to male teachers of color and a space to reflect on practice in service of student learning. Read the full-length article here.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.