Week of October 6-10
Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Ujamaa Place breakfast and hear from Shawn Dove of BMAfunders.org about the great things they are doing with black males. This event shed a ton of light on the plight of black males in our society. The key message I took from this presentation confirmed my thinking around the belief gap that exists in the minds of our black male students.
In order to close the achievement gap, we first have to believe that it is possible. This belief needs to come from all of us; every segment of society plays a role in this belief gap. It's imperative that the messages we send our young men tell them that they are valued and are capable of achieving. It must come from a genuine place or else the lack of sincerity will be apparent to the students. As a survival mechanism, young black men learn at an early age how to read people.
I also attended a conference on "Learning and Teaching with Fire" hosted by the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and Tribal Colleges. There were many valuable takeaways for the educators in attendance, but one in particular resonated with me -- every teacher has to teach every child. The best educators can and do get the best out of every student, no matter who the student is or what the student looks like.
To me, that concept relates directly to belief. Our job is to ensure that all of our students are provided with a quality education no matter the background. The vision of MPS is every child college and career ready. Not some or a few but every child. It's on us as educators to be vigilant in this matter.
The work continues.