Tuesday, May 2, is National Teacher Appreciation Day, a day that honors teachers and school administrators for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.
Teachers are committed, caring, and patient professionals who work to guide students toward success. They can significantly impact our lives and help mold and shape the world’s future leaders.
Black teachers, in particular, are critical to the success of Black students. Studies show that Black students who have even just one Black teacher during elementary school are more likely to graduate high school and consider college. Black students with Black teachers also experience less exclusionary discipline and fewer office visits, a crucial break in the school-to-prison pipeline.
However, although Black students account for 15 percent of all public school students in the U.S., Black teachers make up just seven percent of the teacher workforce. It’s even less for Black men, who make up less than two percent of the teaching workforce.
On this National Teacher Day, we celebrate Black teachers who have made a difference in their students’ lives. Here are a few of our favorite heartwarming moments of Black teachers with their students over the years!
1. Memphis based Spanish teacher Stephanie Clayborne using music to teach her students the language.
2. Yolanda Turner, a teacher in Riverview, Florida busting a move on the dance floor with her students during an “exam dance break”.
3. David Jamison II aka The Dope Educator and the unique personalized handshakes he’s created with individual students over the years.
4. Major Jones, a teacher at Ballard-Hudson Middle School in Georgia giving a student a confidence-boosting haircut.
5. Eric Butler, Michael Flemming, Denzil Flemming, and Marsalis Chism are four inspirational Black male teachers at Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King High School.
They inspire a school of mostly young Black freshman students as their teachers in subjects such as African American History, English, Algebra I and Environmental Science.
6. Chanique Davis, an elementary school teacher from Lake Alfred, Florida uses amazing door art to send messages of inclusion to her students.
7. Nadine Ebri regularly goes viral for this 2018 video of her Jacksonville, FL class rocking to the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Ebri has shared that many of them were unfamiliar with the song, even though it was written in their hometown of Jacksonville, and she taught them the lyrics.