This question is in response to the July 4th Washington Post article concerning the relative absence of Black male teachers in our classrooms–only representing 2% in the nation, 8.3% in the District of Columbia, 4.3% in Maryland and 2.6% in Virginia. According to the article, while 30% of teachers leave before retirement, 50% of Black males decide to walk away from the vocation. The question the article did not even attempt to answer is, “Why?”
A year before I left teaching to attend graduate school full time, I expressed my reasons in a Baltimore Sun article (click on it; it’s worth reading) that received wide coverage, much support and vitriol (from some teachers who felt as though I was attacking the profession). I only stayed away for a year before returning to the classroom.
Now, in light of this Washington Post article, I would like to ask for Black male former public school teachers to contact me if you would like to express why you left the teaching profession. Truth is, my Sun article was about why I, the teacher, left the profession. However, I did not express why I, the Black male, left the teaching profession–and there is a difference. Before (or even if) I express why my Black male sensibilities pushed me out of the classroom, I would like to hear from other former Black male teachers about what went into their decisions to leave. Contact me so we can explore the reasons why our classrooms are missing Black males.