Dr. Kane admits that the percentage of black teachers in American private schools has risen, to 9% today from 4% in 1987. While this is commendable, shouldn't we go beyond 25% in order for our faculty lounges to begin to mirror the society in which we live?
There are three things schools can do to attract black teachers.
Look Outside the Box.
Private schools must go outside the traditional recruitment channels to attract black teachers. You must go to colleges and universities where black students are being trained and educated. Contact the deans and career services directors at all of Historically Black Colleges. Develop a network of contacts at those schools as extensive as the old boys' network you use to attract the rest of your faculty. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter make networking efficient and relatively easy.
Be prepared to attract faculty who do not fit the traditional teacher profile.
Black teachers have spent years discovering their roots, developing a keen pride in their heritage, and accepting who they are. So don't expect them to fit into your traditional teacher profile. Diversity by definition implies that the status quo will change.
Create a Nurturing and Welcoming Atmosphere.
The job is always an adventure for a new teacher. Starting in a school as a minority can be really daunting. So create an effective mentoring program before you actively recruit teachers. They must know there is somebody in whom they can confide or to whom they can turn for guidance. Then monitor your fledgling teachers even more carefully than you usually do to make sure that they settle in. The result will be a mutually rewarding experience. The school gets a happy, productive faculty member, and he or she feels confident in the career choice.
"The true make-or-break issue of hiring teachers of color may be the human factor. Independent school leaders may need to re-evaluate the climate and atmosphere of their schools. Is the school truly a welcoming place where diversity is tangibly honored? The human connection that is offered or not offered when a new person enters the school may be the single most important moment in efforts to recruit teachers of color." - Attracting and Retaining Teachers of Color, Pearl Rock Kane and Alfonso J. Orsini
Read carefully what Dr. Kane and her researchers have to say on this subject. Then begin your school's journey down the road to true diversity.