Why Teachers of Color Leave
“Emotionally, it is harder to see students who look like me struggle, while higher-up administrators didn’t seem to truly care.”
So says a Black teacher, summing up what many teachers of color feel when being in the minority of their White peers at school.
In a new report by Ed Trust and TeachPlus, If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover, researchers conducted focus groups and case studies to better understand the experiences of teachers of color.
Why do teachers of color leave? They express navigating a workplace that renders their identity, skills, and contributions to the school invisible. In the report, we identify promising solutions for school, district, and state leaders that include changing schools’ culture in ways that align with the goals and values of the teachers; finding ways to affirm teachers’ racial identity; and prioritizing the hiring and placement of cohorts of teachers of color to reduce isolation.
Says one teacher: “As an individual of color, I often feel as if I am not always able to make the changes I want as I am forced to operate within a system that seems unwilling to change.”
So, if you want more teachers of color in your school, it’s time to listen to them.
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