Mapping the American education system from the Committee of 10 to today's struggling Black teachers

4 months ago 34

A little over a year ago, one of my family members called me out of the blue to say she was leaving her career as an elementary school teacher. She told me she didn’t feel supported by her coworkers or her administrators. Her speech was rapid-fire and could only be described as manic. In the months that followed, our family would learn that this lovely young Black woman who’d entered the profession of teaching with all the intentions of making a difference in her Black and brown community was having a mental health crisis.

So, when I learned of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism, I knew I wanted to explore the topic. What would cause so many teachers, particularly teachers of color like my relative, to flee their classrooms? What were the differences in her experience versus the experience of her white colleagues? I applied for the fellowship with a focus on this topic; I was awarded the fellowship in early fall of 2022.  

This article is the first in a series that hopes to tell the story of Black teachers who are driven away from jobs they love that don’t seem to love them back.

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