The Fellowship, a newly founded organization, consists of black male teachers in the Philadelphia area. Their mission is to create a network of current teachers and men that are considering to become one.
According to the Department of Education, nationwide statistics show that only 2 percent of teachers are black men.
While it is important to seek qualified teachers that are as diverse as the student body, they should be treated with respect.
As stated by The Washington Post, black teachers that are not valued are used as “invisible tax.” This “tax” is paid when they’re the token black teacher in a predominantly white school and have to be mentors to the entire population of black students.
It is also paid when they’re expected to fully prepare and educate them about racism. If you are black, think about a time when you were the only one in the room and expected to be the voice for all, especially while discussing cultural diversity.
This can be a draining and often stressful task, when you’re one of a few, or in some cases, the only black teacher at a school.
As reported by Newsworks, only 4.5 of Philly’s teachers are black men — with The Fellowship’s plan, they hope to “increase its recruitment of black men, incorporate more black men as paraprofessionals, and establish summer job opportunities for black men interested in education.”
“We talk about excellence, not just flooding the pipeline with more black men. What we want is highly effective black male teachers…We know that they have to be coached. We know they have to be supported.” – Sharif El-Mekki, Fellowship Co-Founder & Principal at Mastery-Shoemaker middle school in West Philadelphia
For more information, visit The Fellowship’s official Facebook page