Yahoo! Sports: ‘If not me, then who?’ Black educators open up about the pressure to help black students succeed
Originally found at Yahoo! Sports, by Kamilah Newton
The student population in America has never been more diverse — but, in many schools, the diversity ends there. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, an estimated 80 percent of public school teachers in America today are white, far eclipsing Hispanic teachers (nine percent) and black teachers (seven percent).
For black students, who make up 16 percent of America’s K-12 student body, this lack of representation can be hugely detrimental — impacting everything from how often they are disciplined to their chances of graduating college.
The survey is a follow-up to Ed Trust’s major 2016 report titled Through Our Eyes, which uncovered the obstacles black teachers face both in and outside of the classroom. In it, the authors speak with black teachers across seven states who describe a variety of challenges, including connecting with black students, enforcing as opposed to educating, and supporting the whole student. To explore this landscape, Yahoo Lifestyle spoke with both current and former black educators....
Many black teachers say they’ve experienced white colleagues discouraging and underestimating black students, leaving them to pick up the pieces and build their confidence back up. A 2016 study from Johns Hopkins University explored this phenomenon, finding that white teachers often have lower expectations than black teachers for the same black students.
The result is a profession that many black educators feel called to, but ultimately too overburdened to sustain. A 2017 study in the Academy of Management Journal found that they’re not alone, suggesting that those who pursue careers out of a “sense of obligation or moral duty” have a high rate of burnout.
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