Why All Students Need More Teachers of Color

Photo: https://thegrio.com/2011/09/28/new-study-shows-teacher-pay-gap-in-black-and-latino-schoolssigni/

Let’s begin with this basic fact: Teachers of color comprise just under 18 percent of all teachers in the United States. However, as of the 2014-2015 school year, students of color are a new majority in public schools, representing approximately 50.3 percent of all students. It’s a glaring disparity. And the repercussions are reverberating in both expected and unexpected ways. Consider the following:

  • The dearth of teachers of color means there not only are not enough teachers with a common background as the majority students, but also that the lack of commonality influences the way in which these students are often perceived, casting the students’ differences from the teachers in a negative light.
  • The clearly measured severity of the punishments enacted against students of color, as demonstrated by numerous studies, are not diminished by this increase in the number of students of color.
  • Continue reading “Why All Students Need More Teachers of Color”

What’s in a Name?

Photo: https://cybraryman.com/studentnames.html

How many of your elementary school teachers’ names do you remember? Despite the many years that have elapsed, I remember all of mine, from Miss Sanford in kindergarten to Mrs. Maloney in eighth grade. And it’s likely that you do as well. In fact, students usually learn teachers’ names the first day of school. After all, while teachers have many students each year, students in the early years have only one teacher. That certainly makes the teacher and the name memorable. Now here’s the question: How quickly do you learn all of your students’ names? Continue reading “What’s in a Name?”

Changing Classes in Elementary School

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Educational changes can be good, but sometimes you need to weigh the benefits gained against the disadvantages that students might incur. What I’m talking about is the new practice of having elementary students change classes—or departmentalize—as middle and high school students have always done. Continue reading “Changing Classes in Elementary School”