The enormity of the data that suggests a need for more effective male teachers of color in our schools is the propeller behind this movement.

As the founder of Man Up, this movement reflects my personal life experiences. As an African American elementary teacher, I was often one of a handful of male teachers in the building. I was often assigned the most difficult students who were usually male students with behavior problems.

Often single mothers would request their son be placed in my classroom “because he needed a man in his life”. These requests were made without any knowledge of my effectiveness as a teacher but only with hopes that a positive male presence would somehow impact their sons’ lives.

There is little research supporting this claim; however, there is endless research on the positive impact of mentoring and also on the positive impact of knowledgeable teachers.