Saturday, June 30, 2012
A Few Good Male Role Models Are Needed
Having that dad at home, or even just full time in a child's life, particularly a boys life, has such a tremendous impact, does so much good, that it makes our jobs as educators easier.
But we as educators, unlike the Republicans, choose not to legislate morals or families. We can only do what we can in our little corner of the world, and we have more power than any political party or politician to ensure that our students, especially in elementary education, have that male role model as a teacher.
So what is being done about it? At this time during the summer months principals throughout the City of New York are looking to fill vacancies. Even the charter schools are. Vacancies with new teachers, new blood, fresh ideas. These teachers will be the face of education for their students this coming September.
Unfortunately, most of these teachers will be female (in elementary schools), and white. Oh, and young. Yes, the students of color will identify with the white teachers, increasingly TFA, and young. How could they not? Most of these fresh, white, and young, not to mention elitist young teachers do have something in common with the boys and girls of color in the inner city. Most of these fresh, white, and young, not to mention elitist young teachers have employed, or their parents have, a person of color as a housekeeper or landscaper. It is almost symbiotic.
Never mind that young James has never had a father figure in his life and his life can turn either way. What he needs to see is a successful young white person named Courtney from the Main Line by way of Villanova share with him that the best way to be successful is to have a rich daddy that instills liberal white guilt into her so that James can say, "Dang, White people are whom I should look up to."
Or Jasmine, whose dad only shows up when he wants to get it on with her mom and wishes upon all hope that there was a positive male in her life can't look up to Lance from Yale by way of Hotchkiss, by way of the Vineyard (summers only). Yes, Lance sets a great example of his dedication by looking forward to the time when his commitment to TFA is done in two years and he will be applying to business school. That is if he can get by the weekends doing Jell-O shots on the UES.
Yeah, there used to be a time when if you were male, and better yet a male of color, you can get a job in education at the snap of a finger practically. People, actually veteran educators saw that there was a need to lead and model for the students who through no fault of their own live in a matriarchy. These veteran educators did not give a shit about future salaries of teachers, their pension costs, their thought process. All that mattered was getting that male in that class. Getting these students to see that there was more than the streets they live on in this world. The male teachers of yesteryear were their paths to a unlimited world of possibilities.
Now all our students are stuck with is the politics and business of education which will just entrap them even more and continue them on a vicious cycle in the downward spiral of education brought on by today's so called educational leaders.