Black Man Named Teacher of the Year

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden recently honored Kurt Russell as the 2022 National Teacher of the Year, as schools continue to recruit and hire more Black-male teachers.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden celebrated from across the country during a special ceremony in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Teacher Appreciate Week began May 2.

In an interview with CBS Morning,  Russell said he tries to make sure that his students have optimal opportunities to learn.

“I am truly blessed to be part of a profession that transforms and legitimizes student voices and plants the groundwork for more culturally responsive education,” Russell

Russell, a history teacher at Oberlin High School in Ohio, where he also grew up. He has taught for 25 years. In addition, he teaches about race, gender and oppression to the school’s Black Student Union and he is head coach of the varsity basketball team.

Russell was inspired by Larry Thomas, the first Black teacher he ever had. “It was a revelation to actually see a teacher who looked me,” he recalled.

About 7% of teachers nationwide are Black, according to the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Only about 2% of U. S. teachers are Black men, according to the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Black men can have a big impact on classrooms because they can change the way young black boys see themselves and imagine their future prospects.

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