Man Up Teacher Fellowship works to get more male teachers of color in Memphis, Shelby Co. schools

Man Up Teacher Fellowship works to get more male teachers of color in Memphis, Shelby Co. schools
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 7:48 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hundreds of thousands of teacher vacancies exist in schools across the country. Here in the Mid-South one group is helping get teachers into the classroom to represent a historically underrepresented population in the teaching profession.

There’s a disparity in teaching -- the U.S. Department of Education estimates about 2% of the nation’s teachers are males of color.

And leaders at Man Up Teacher Fellowship here in Memphis say when a teaching staff represents the student population everyone wins.

Man UP was created in 2018 and is celebrating a big milestone. In just four years it’s now placed more than 100 male teachers of color in Memphis and Shelby County classrooms.

The program teaches undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals wanting to make the switch to teaching what they need to know to get certified and licensed for the classroom.

The program has teamed up with other institutions like the University of Memphis and Mississippi State University to create the program curriculum.

But leaders with Man Up say while the program fills in the gap of male teachers of color its mission may be needed more than ever now as about 500,000 teacher vacancies exist around the nation. This summer Memphis-Shelby County Schools even say hundreds of openings just weeks before school.

“There are states out there calling in the National Guard to be substitutes,” said Dr. Patrick Washington, founder and CEO, of Man Up Teacher Fellowship. “So we can do a better job in this country to ensure that one we make a pipeline, a process easier for folks who want to become teachers and that we as a collective elevate the teaching profession as a whole.”

And you can find out more about Man Up Teacher Fellowship this Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Loflin Yard. To RSVP to the event click here.

For more on the program click here.

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