An article in The Hechinger Report discussed the lack of Black teachers in the nation’s poorest cities and schools. As the article says, we really do need people who look like us, come from our neighborhoods and desire to serve as role models for the youth in our communities.
I was born and raised in North Philadelphia during a time when a few, older Whites still lived in communities with low and middle-income Blacks, and I agree that Black teachers are necessary to improve learning in low-income, underperforming schools. Over 20 years ago, I noticed that young, mostly male scholars from my community were not as engaged in learning as they should have been. I started an after-school, tutorial program that helped increase the scholars’ confidence and subsequently, improved their academic performance.
My sister and I did this work voluntarily, in the basement of my sister’s home, because we had high expectations for these scholars and because their families were our neighbors. We knew that by helping the scholars, we were, in fact helping our community. At a time when many Black and Brown students are not receiving the education that they deserve, more community members are needed to reinforce the importance of learning.
Read all of this blog post by Quibila A. Divine at Yo Philly Ed.