Sunday, February 8, 2015
In Jacksonville it is only up to teachers to save young black men (sic).
Let me preface the following with, I was not at the Urban Education Symposium and I am taking below from the Times Union, unfortunately not exactly the bastion of fairness and reliability that it should be. All that being said, come on it’s only up to teachers to save our young black men???
Here are some passages from the Times Union’s report on the symposium:
“It is important for teachers to make sure they encourage students constantly to reach all of their goals,” said student Gregory Hill.
But teachers who schedule tests on the first day back from holiday break, people who say you “suck” in football and people who “don’t believe” you can become a great gospel singer suck the air out of their dreams, they said.
Teachers must want them to learn and succeed — one of the students said he did not get that feeling from some white teachers — and recognize their different learning styles. And they must make class interesting.
“I am a young leader ready to learn. I like small groups and fun activities, not to listen to a boring teacher all day long just talking,” said student Turner Robinson.
Also, teachers should be alert to when students might be “having a bad day,” but not let their own bad days be visible in their teaching, the teens said.
And they asked for more black male teachers in the classroom. Seeing teachers who look like them and have “attained something better in life” would help put them on the path to do the same, one teen said.
And that other than an obligatory line about young black men need mentors was it. It’s all on the backs of teachers to save young black men.
Not the policy makers who have sucked the joy out of learning for so many teachers and students alike through their high stakes testing agenda. Or the ones that have diminished the teaching of skills, art and trades and yes industry certifications are up but they are nowhere near where they should be.
What about the African American community who votes for the same disengaged policy makers over and over again?
Parents, church leaders, African-American sports figures, the kids themselves and all others got a pass at the symposium but those damn teachers better put it in gear.
Are there problems? Yes. Are teachers a large part of the solution? Yes but it’s not all on their backs and putting it all there is not going to make things better.