Partnering to Retain Teachers of Color

It is one thing to hire teachers of color. It is another thing to retain teachers of color. As a Black educator, I know this truth all too well. I’ve worked places where my expertise and skill set were not valued by my peers or superiors. I was viewed as the Black teacher in the building for disciplinary support and community buy-in. I met conflict in those spaces and was often forced out. This is one example to explain the inability of schools and/or districts to retain teachers of color. But this is not necessarily the norm.

I’ve had the distinct privilege to be part of teacher hiring teams in school districts where I have worked. I call such service on hiring teams significant, but it is not always a guarantee that hiring teams are reflective of the diversity of its communities. As an African American educator, I brought a unique perspective to the group—as did my Asian and Latino colleagues who worked with us. My perspective was displayed in the qualities I looked for in a teacher and how my criteria showed up in the questions I asked.

Supporting Teacher of Color Recruitment Efforts

Research shows that all students benefit from having teachers of color. Those benefits range from academic to relational. Therefore, it is no wonder that district leaders are choosing to recruit more teachers of color to work in their schools. When you consider that teachers of color are less than 20% of teachers (male teachers of color are less than 5% of all teachers), there is a need to recruit more people of color to the teaching profession. Knowing that your school district needs teachers of color is the easy part. Recruiting is where it can get harder.

Supporting Teachers of Color This Year, to Retain Them For Next Year

Making it a goal of your district to hire more teachers of color is a great thing. But sometimes more important than hiring teachers of color is retaining them. However, teacher of color have a higher rate of teacher turnover than white teachers. According to a Teach Plus and Education Trust report, teachers of color leave the classroom for a number of reasons, including the emotional and psychological toll of being an educator of color in a white institutional space, the lack of autonomy to tailor their teaching to students of color, and the lack of respect for their content knowledge.

What to Consider Regarding Teachers of Color During the Hiring Process

The hiring process is always tough because while looking for the “perfect” teacher candidate, you’ll never find them. You just hope to find an individual who is a good fit for students and the school culture. Too often, when hiring teachers of color, the hiring team may get too pre-occupied with fit, content knowledge and qualifications of those candidates because quite frankly, they’re not white. This is not to say that white people in the position to hire are inherently racist. But it is to say that people hire who they are familiar with and considering the demographics of teachers and administrators, one can argue that white educators are a bit too familiar when hiring teachers for their buildings.

Unorthodox Teacher Recruitment Strategies

Professionally speaking, teaching has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. But my degree isn’t in teaching. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do when I entered college but teaching wasn’t one of the things that came to mind. When I graduated from undergrad I entered grad school, still not thinking about teaching. Until one day one of my professors who remains a mentor suggested that I entered the classroom. Once I graduated, rather than entering field the public administration and

Comment: Threat isn’t over for minority students’ education

By Rann Miller / Special To The Washington Post The school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, generated international attention to the vulnerability of children, particularly children of color, in a state with few gun regulations. But gun violence is not the only threat students of color are facing in the classroom. Shortly after the May leak of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that overturned Roe v. Wade, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, wondere

Why Juneteenth Deserves The Highest Respect, Reverence And Regard

On July 19, 2021, President Biden signed legislation declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth, taking its name from combining the words ‘June’ and ‘nineteenth,’ marks the occasion of June 19, 1865, when Union troops entered Galveston, Texas, to announce all enslaved people were free upon the surrender of the last Confederate stronghold. While Juneteenth being celebrated as a national holiday is long overdue, Juneteenth has a very special meaning in Texas.

White Folks, You're Telling on Yourself When You Talk About Your One "Black Friend"

Parents often know when their children have engaged in mischievous behavior. Sometimes, they become private investigators to get to the bottom of the mischief in question. Sometimes, once at the scene of the crime, the child may have told on themselves. For example, a rule in my home is no ice cream after school. Fruit, crackers and cereal are the available snack options. One day, I came home to find a spoon with chocolate ice cream residue on the kitchen table, in the spot where my oldest daug

Schools Need to Stop Leaning on the White Lies They Tell Themselves About Diversity

Something that educators love to tout, particularly white educators, is the diversity that they have in their schools; specifically, the diversity of their students. I remember in a previous district where I worked, a guidance counselor, when talking about the pros of the district, mentioned the diversity of the district. She highlighted the student body configuration of Black, white and Latino/a students as proof of the diversity of the school. It was a point of pride for her. Meanwhile, most

Rann Miller: Teaching Critical Race Theory Is About Liberating All of Us

Rann Miller: Teaching Critical Race Theory Is About Liberating All of Us Rann Miller writes for The Progressive about the importance of lessons on race and racism. And it all starts with this jaw-dropping quote. “Helping kids of color to feel they belong has a negative effect on white, Christian, or conservative kids,” Mary Beeman, the campaign manager for a Republican school board candidate in Connecticut, said in October. Beeman’s comments were made during a virtual forum on the subject of c

Ban What You Want, We're Still Teaching Our Students the Truth About Our Country

Much of the rhetoric concerning critical race theory (CRT) has come from politicians and parents, many of whom are white. Missouri serves as an example. But educators have offered some commentary as well. Nine out of 10 teachers never taught CRT in their classrooms. Thankfully, both the National Educational Association and the American Federation of Teachers both pledged to defend teachers facing legal action for teaching CRT or anything “related” to it. I say “related” because “The 1619 Projec

Rann Miller: When States Take Over School Districts, the Community Loses

ImpactED, an evaluation and research center at the University of Pennsylvania, recently released a report finding that Camden public school students in grades three-to-eight have narrowed the proficiency gap in both math and reading since the 2014-15 school year, when the Camden City School District was taken over by the state of New Jersey under then-Governor Chris Christie. The report also makes mention that since 2014, student proficiency in both math and reading has nearly doubled.

Black Kids Don't Need a "Messiah." They Need More Black Male Teachers.

I recently saw a tweet that cautioned Black folks to divest from the “Black Male Educator as the Messiah” myth in education and it got me thinking; is there a messiah myth about Black male educators in education circles? The answer depends on who you ask. I can say from personal experience that my Black-maleness was welcomed in schools by both Black and white educators alike, but for different reasons. Black educators welcomed my presence because my presence could serve as another model for Bl

Rann Miller: Public service or protests for Black lives?

On April 20, a verdict was rendered: Derek Chauvin, guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of last year. Floyd’s family — and, by extension, Black America — saw the system hold a police officer accountable for killing a Black person. The verdict is a modicum of justice at best, and an anomaly at worst. Sadly, the work of fighting police brutality is far from over. While we continue to hope for justice concerning the murders of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Anthony Thompson Jr. and Ma’Khia Bryant, we’ve yet to receive it. As an educator, I find that what makes these murders particularly tragic is the ages of the victims: 20, 13, 17 and 16, respectively.

Every Educator Must Decide Whether They Work for the System or for Students

So, you want to teach REAL history … You’re a teacher. Maybe you’re even a history teacher. But truth is, you didn’t learn much other than white supremacy propaganda during your formal education. But you’ve gotten a taste of truth. You’ve heard the terms white supremacy, systemic racism, and institutional racism. You’ve discovered the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Underground Railroad that led to Mexico, and Juneteenth. You want to teach that history, the marginalized voices who can attest to that

5 Tips to Rid Your School Faculty of Racists

The insurrection of January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our nation’s history. What makes it even darker is that public servants took part in the dysfunction. In attendance that day were police officers, firefighters and even educators among our industry. As it pertains to leaders in these industries, I applaud them for investigating and potentially removing these individuals. But these leaders should be equally concerned with rooting out the racists hiding in plain sight in offices, patrolling th

States want to prevent schools from telling the truth about racism in America. Here’s what educators can do about it.

States want to prevent schools from telling the truth about racism in America. Here’s what educators can do about it. It’s not enough to quote Martin Luther King Jr. and point to stories of Black success. At least half a dozen states have introduced legislation to prevent the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools. Educators in states where such bills become law would be blocked from teaching about the racist roots of Western society, generally, and the United States, specifically, and ho
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