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A Look at UNCC’s Black Male Teacher Initiative, “What’s Your Impact?”

Group of UNCC Black Teacher Initiative Participants
AACTE member institution Cato College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) works to create effective solutions to the shortage of Black male teachers. Thomas Fisher, supervisor of student teaching in the Office of School and Community Partnerships, recruited four of his former students to help implement a program to engage and recruit Black male students into the teaching profession. The team visits schools and shares their story to inspire a new generation of educators in the most underrepresented demographic in teaching. 

“There’s only 2% Black male teachers in the United States,” says Timothy Wells, social studies teacher at Ridge Road Middle School, who is featured in the “What’s Your Impact?” video. “Studies show that your success increases if you have a Black male teacher or a male teacher in general from an early age.” The video spotlights Black male graduates of UNC’s Cato College of Education as they share why they pursued a teaching career. It also includes Edwin Campbell, American history teacher at Vance High School; Devin Murphy, math teacher at Myers Park High School; and Dwayne Simmons, English teacher and dean of students at Quail Hollow Middle School. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above to hear the dynamic stories of these educators.

Cover page Practices to Recruit and Retain Male Teachers of ColorBy identifying teacher candidates as resources for recruiting Black males into teaching, the UNC initiative aligns well with the work of AACTE’s Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community. AACTE released its report on how to increase and support the number of Black and Hispanic/Latino male candidates in teacher preparation programs earlier this year. The report documents promising practices and significant challenges that schools, colleges, and departments of education around the country may face as they prepare professionals for increasingly diverse and complex education environments. The publication is the first phase focused on “Exploring New Pathways to Recruit and Retain” Black and Hispanic/Latino educators.

AACTE is committed to providing resources and highlighting its members’ success stories for increasing the diversity of faculty and students in educator preparation programs so that they more accurately reflect the diversity within PK-12 schools. If you have a success story you would like to share, please contact me at jthurman@aacte.org.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE