As a third generation teacher I wanted to encourage, inspire, empower, bless and provide confidence to my brother educators.
Education as a whole needs more certified male teachers to be positive role models, but the need for Black Males in education is important. This is not to say other cultures are not effective educators, but from my personal experiences, the influences of Black male teachers in my life; the cultural awareness, relevance to life experiences and need to see a face that is my color was important to me and others growing up in an urban setting.
It provided a sense of stability, encouraged self worth and even though my father was not a part of my life other men stepped up and took upon the roles as father, mentor and educator. Even though all my friends had fathers in their homes and I did not I’m as successful as them because of the influence and support of other Black males.
Black Males in Education * Understand the importance, value and need of education to be successful in American society. They know education is the key to economic stability.
BME * Take responsibility for helping young Black boys and young Black girls to grow into mature and responsible Black adults.
BME * Understand the challenges of being Black and male in American society and try to share their positive experiences with Black children that are not their own. To help them value education, hard work and teach morals and values.
BME * Understand that they will be viewed as Black first above their degrees, salaries, cars, and clothes so must display professionalism and confidence at all times.
BME * Understand they may be the only positive Black male role model in a young Black males and females life. They must try to inspire, motivate, and educate at all times.
BME * Understand that they are always under a microscope by parents, administrators and society so must always conduct themselves professionally.
BME * Understand they make sacrifices choosing education as a career choice. They do it for the love of children and the opportunity to be a positive influence in society.
BME * Understand they are sometimes viewed as the Custodian, Athletic Coach, Yard Person, Bus Driver or Cafeteria Worker, but no matter someone else’s perception they are still positive forces in the education of youth.
BME * Understand their responsibility for their families, but sometimes must put others before themselves and their families. Sometimes they sacrifice to save another life outside of their family or bring others into their family.
BME * Understand that they are not Superman and cannot save every child no matter how hard they try. They still try their best to make a difference for all children.
BME * Do not always get the emotional, spiritual and mental support they need when working with children in school and the community, but they press forward and do important work.
BME * Are sometimes viewed as arrogant, cocky, indifferent, and thuggish when in fact they emanate intelligence, creativity, drive, accountability, spirituality, discipline and strength of mind and will.
These attributes and more are the strengths that Black male teachers display in their classrooms schools and communities. C. G. Woodson (Mis-Education of the Negro)
“Real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to begin with life as they find it and make it better.
BME * Understand when they show caring, peacefulness, love, empathy, and sympathy they maybe viewed as soft, gay, unintelligent, incompetent and unprofessional. They are smart enough to know when to be tough with kids and when to show compassion.
BME * Understand that they have a responsibility to be the best they can be every day because they know someone is always watching and judging them.
Written in the Education of the Negro, by C.G. Woodson, “almost every Colored person who could read and write was a missionary teacher among his people.”
What has happened to the Black community today when our schools are threatened with closure, sanctions and state intentions.
Black Male Teachers though few in number carry a power and influence that can raise the potential of Black male and female students. Sometimes it is just the presence of a teacher that inspires. I’m proud to be a Black Male Teacher because I know who I’ am, how important I ‘am, how important I’ am to my students, my peers, and my community. I’m not ashamed to say I love my students for their talents, abilities and potential to make the world a better place.
Society should not feel threatened by Black Male Teachers intellectualism, should not be apprehensive about Black Male Teachers articulation, and not scared of Black Male Teachers dedication to being a Black Male Teacher. Society should encourage male teachers, praise them, pray for them, and support them. Black male teachers show society not all Black men are thuggish, undisciplined, irresponsible, lazy and uneducated.
We have a responsibility to our families, our communities, our churches and our children.
Malcolm X stated “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Staff Writer; William D. Jackson