More Black men are needed in the classroom, diversity advocates say
Vanessa Leroy/CNNData shows that Black male teachers like Grant are underrepresented in schools across the country.
Just 1.3% of public school teachers were Black men in the 2020-21 school year, according to the National Teacher and Principal Survey.
Black children, meanwhile, accounted for 15% of public school students in the fall of 2020.
Black men are sorely needed in the teaching field, advocates say, as the nation’s school systems struggle with unfair disciplinary practices, achievement gaps, and political battles over Black history curriculum.
Experts say Black male teachers help improve academic outcomes, including graduation rates of Black students.
Black male teachers are role models to young Black students, advocates say.
He currently serves as an ambassador for the Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship where he helps the group recruit Black male teachers.
“I see every day the impact that I’m making … just by being there and being present.”Some Black male teachers say their presence in the classroom helps overcome stereotypes children – Black or White – may have of Black men.
Some studies have found that Black male teachers are viewed as disciplinarians and are often the ones called on to punish students.
Grant says it is vital for schools to have a diverse array of Black men teaching, including those who are boisterous, reserved, heterosexual and gay.
“The way that teachers and school leaders respond to Black boys is not very different from the way they respond to Black male teachers,” Hendricks says.
“Create retention plans that are informed by Black men and we are much more likely to be successful in recruiting more Black men to the profession.”