Opinion
Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor

‘Domino Effect’ Could Attract More Teachers of Color

May 09, 2017 1 min read
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To The Editor:

The article “For Male Educators of Color, a Shoulder to Lean On” (April 26, 2017) addresses a topic of discussion that is desperately needed. Given that students of color are the majority demographic group in public schools but the teaching population consists of only 2 percent Latino male teachers, less than 2 percent African-American male teachers, and a half-percent of Asian male teachers, this is a crisis. In order to encourage more teachers of color to enter the profession, time and effort need to be devoted to recruitment and retention. The presence of male teachers and principals of color in a school is important to recruiting other men of color.

As the Boston program described in the article demonstrates, networking and sharing of success is an avenue for this work to take place. Through better networking, districts can contribute by making sure they understand the needs of male teachers of color, along with making sure that the district has invested sufficient time and energy in cultural competence.

As a Latina principal-in-training, I feel it is my duty to make sure that I serve as a coach and mentor to other educators of color. I am mentoring a Latina college senior who plans on pursuing a career in education and with whom I have much in common—we both have come from a strict upbringing, have navigated two different cultures, and endured bullying from students and teachers.

If I could reach more potential educators and help them commit to and be happy with the profession, I believe there would be a domino effect that could yield positive results. We have to take the lead from Boston and make sure that other cities follow suit. This should be a movement.

Janet Villanueva-Williams

Principal-in-Training

The Metropolitan Career and Technical Center

Providence, R.I.

A version of this article appeared in the May 10, 2017 edition of Education Week as ‘Domino Effect’ Could Attract More Teachers of Color

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