Listening to the needs of Black male teachers

The pressure Black male teachers feel when tasked with educating students in predominantly Black urban schools is a unique and often isolating feeling. In researching his forthcoming book “Black Men Teaching in Urban Schools, Penn Graduate School of Education’s Ed Brockenbrough revealed this particular demographic of teachers has a strong sense of responsibility to students, and they feel uniquely alone in that challenge. 

Tasked with being both educators and role models for Black students, the teachers Brockenbrough interviewed spoke about the expectations they held for themselves to teach and help their students created additional stresses as an educator. 

The pressure is in line with the “Black Supermen” ideal that other researchers have identified, where Black male teachers are expected to exceed their roles as educators and fulfill traditionally masculine or gender-normative roles, like issuing discipline. 

“There is a gap between what people perceive individual Black male teachers are capable of doing,” says Brockenbrough, “and the realities of urban Black children’s economic and social miseries that are rooted in concentrated poverty, racism, and the prison-industrial complex and its impact on Black communities.”

Read more at Penn GSE News.