A Facebook discussion resulted in the question "Why aren't there more Black men in education". I'll be honest with you. I don't know why more Black men don't teach and even in that why they don't teach in elementary school. What I do know is why I teach. I don't speak for every Black man on the planet. I do speak for me and here are my reasons.
1. I believe that I can make a difference. I appreciate those who helped me in the past and this is my "starfish" moment. You make a difference in the life of a stranded starfish by throwing it back into the ocean. Even though there might be hundreds of others who need help.
2. This role allows me to use the most of my talents and skills. I see daily that I use my creativity and speaking abilities to their fullest. I know for a fact that I could use them in other areas and make more money, but…
3. I get to model for young kids what it's like to be a man. Everyone is a model. I'm not sure everyone is a good or an intentional model. This is going to salt some grits, but this is also my blog. Little boys need to see what they're going to grow up to be one day. Little girls need to see what a real man looks like and what they need to look for one day. There's no subbing for male influence in schools.
4. All other fields grow from education and I want to have my hand in that field. Not all schools are great and not all schools are bad. Not every situation is ideal, but education is going to be needed no matter what. I guess when we find a way to give you a pill that uploads all the classics to your brain, but until then someone is going to have to teach you to read.
5.Speaking of reading. I love kids books.
6. Teaching allows me to spend a lot of time with my family. This is really reason number 1. I love my family and this is a profession that gives me a lot of time with them. They also help add a happy goal for whatever kind of day I have. It's refreshing to know that I'm going to see my wife and girls at the end of the day.
7. The more positive energy I put into teaching the more that I get in return. It's not always an even exchange and sometimes I don't appreciate the little dividends I get, but I do notice them.
Now, I could also write a pretty nice size list for some cons for my decision to teach. But it's my choice. I believe I'm making a difference even when it's not evident at all. I know that I'm doing something that one day will result in great rewards.
Feel free to share why you think there are not more Black men in education or why you chose to be in education. Let's hear it.