Historically in Peoria school administrators (i.e., principals, assistant principals) have been predominately white. It seems that within the last ten years or so we have seen the advent of more African-American principals, administrators and teachers in D150 schools – mainly south of War Memorial in predominately black schools.
Some believe that African-American administrators and educators can best address the needs of black children, because they understand them culturally. I must admit, I have seen instances where students respond differently to a teacher or administrator who looks more like them.
In my opinion, there are some children who need just the right person to give them attention, but for the most part, I am of the mindset that a disrespectful child is going to be disrespectful regardless of the skin color of the person they are dealing with. Students are going to learn better from those who can communicate with them, show interest, support and understand them, regardless of the color of their skin.
White female teachers and black male students
We have a black student crisis in America. We need to stop messing around pretending it is cute for white teachers to have black students. The kids are the ones footing the bill for this adult nonsense and they can't make the payments. The next time a well-meaning and culturally myopic white teacher tells you how well they do with African-Americans, ask them to address the universally high suspension rates in America, not just their narrow view of the nation.
Forget gobbely-gook instructional methods and even high-faluting educational goals for a moment and just put 12.5 black guys and 12.5 black girls, at any grade level above primary, in a large room, with your average white teacher, stand outside and see how long it takes for that teacher to throw a couple of the goofier brothers out.
Now put that very same class in the very same room with an average black teacher of any gender. This time, sit down and watch the clock; a natural cultural affinity between the teacher and the students will not eliminate human conflict, but it certainly will not escalate as often or as quickly.
This is a hard truth that teaching staffs all over the country have witnessed. With black students, the black teacher just doesn’t have anywhere near the discipline problems as white teachers.
Pervasive and continuing disproportionate African-American suspension and expulsion rates lead to only one fatal conclusion, that is, if you’ve got the guts to go there. White female teachers cannot, as a rule, handle black male students, much less educate them. But instead of dealing with the real issue, we dig large emotional holes in the ground and insert our heads.
I am not talking about altruistic motives or Olympian efforts. I am speaking to results. Ramming your head into a brick wall to remove an obstacle might be courageous and admirable, but if the wall doesn’t move, then your time and effort has been wasted; try something else. Besides, slamming into a hard object on a daily basis ruins your disposition.