Studies show that students of color have greater academic gains when they have teachers of color in the classroom. In fact, Black male students benefit from having a Black male teacher, with research findings noting lower dropout rates, fewer disciplinary issues, more positive views of schooling, in addition to better test scores. Black educators—with a specific focus on Black male educators—have a positive impact on children of all races and the teaching profession as a whole.
In honor of Black History Month, KIPP Texas will highlight black professionals and paraprofessionals in all four regions who are educating and inspiring our students.
Meet Ronnie Hayes. He’s a teacher at KIPP Texas-Dallas-Fort Worth at KIPP Pleasant Grove Middle School.
How long have you worked at KIPP?
Why did you choose to work at KIPP?
I’ve worked in the traditional school districts. I heard about the great things KIPP is doing, so I wanted to come along for the ride.
Why did you choose education as a professional pursuit?
I’ve been around young black men who just needed an opportunity to be seen and challenged to do more. I want to be their support system.
Why is it important for students to see teachers of color in the classroom?
Because they need to see something other than an athlete or an entertainer that can have a significant influence on their life.
What do you aim to impart to your students?
I live my life by the Michael Jordan quote, “I’ve failed over and over in my life, that’s why I know how to succeed.”
How do you celebrate diversity and culture in your classroom?
I try to be the teacher that I needed when I was a child. I embrace our shared heritage and encourage students to feel proud of who they are and where they come from.
How do you view culture, heritage, and race as resources in education or in your personal journey as an educator?
It’s a critical element to reaching my KIPPsters. Students have an innate desire to have connections. What better connection is there than shared experiences?
KIPP Texas is hiring for a diverse team of dynamic, collaborative, and dedicated individuals with an unyielding belief that every child will succeed. If you want to be part of a supportive team that’s more like a family, then KIPP Texas is for you!