Diverse classrooms need diverse teachers and in NYC right now, only 8% of our teaching workforce looks like the 43% of the public school demographic made up of Black, Latino and Asian male students.

Led by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), NYC Men Teach is an engagement and recruitment effort aimed to inspire more men of color to become teachers in New York City. Working in collaboration with the Department of Education (DOE), City University of New York (CUNY), and Teach for America (TFA), NYC Men Teach provides student support and counseling; various professional supports, including cohort activities and a mentoring network; and the Principals Network to implement best practices that promote differentiated teacher supports in the workplace.

Video: https://youtu.be/O2hidHEv1-Y

NYC class demographicsWhile Black, Latino and Asian male students make up 43% of our public school demographic, Black, Latino and Asian male teachers only make up 8.3% of the entire teacher workforce.

NYC Men Teach, a new initiative to recruit, credential and retain 1,000 qualified men of color as teachers in NYC public schools. A diverse teaching force has been proven to improve academic and social outcomes for students.

“We know there is nothing more transformative in improving education outcomes than a strong, qualified and effective teacher at the head of a classroom. We need to attract and retain great teachers across the board, but it can be especially challenging when it comes to our young men of color. The supports we are putting in place will help exceptional college students and professionals come into the teaching profession, and become role models and leaders in our schools. This is going to make our schools stronger and help our students achieve greater success,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Buery.

NYC Men Teach is a three-year, $16.5 million initiative that will increase recruitment efforts, offer support for new applicants and help current teachers improve their skills. New teachers will come through the City University of New York, the NYC Department of Education Teaching Fellows program and Teach for America. It will employ new guidance counselors, professional development grants, public advertising campaigns, and certification support to increase the pipeline of qualified male teachers of color applying for teaching positions. These initiatives aim to bring 700 qualified participants into teaching-track programs by Fall 2016, reaching 1,000 in programs and in the classroom by Fall 2017.

The NYC Men Teach program will bring more qualified men of color into teaching by:

Increasing the pool of aspiring teachers: Only 6 percent of recent applicants for teaching positions in NYC schools were men of color. Through CUNY, NYC Teaching Fellows and Teach for America, NYC Men Teach will work with students in the pre-graduate pipeline, engaging them with wraparound services to ensure they succeed and complete their credentials. By Winter 2015, guidance counselors will be in place at all 9 senior colleges to assist candidates in meeting their academic goals. Additionally, programs will promote and advertise teaching opportunities to qualified teachers elsewhere in the state and recruit career professionals to bring their outside experience into the classroom.

Increasing hiring: Through the creation of a new Principals Network, comprised of school principals committed to the NYC Men Teach recruitment and retention goals, the program will partner with the DOE to promote placements and foster supportive environments for teachers of color.  To prevent the loss of aspiring teachers due to economic needs, the program will also provide employment opportunities in the summer between job offer and the first day of school. An annual Diversity Report on Teacher Hiring and Attrition will help measure these programs’ progress.

Improving retention: NYC Men Teach will reduce attrition rates by placing recruits in supportive cohorts, incentivizing schools to create supportive outlets for teachers of color, coordinating mentors of color, recognizing our recruits’ achievements, and providing professional and leadership development opportunities.