Teacher diversity is one of the critical subjects in the education system, which needs to be addressed and thoroughly integrated to ensure the overall outcome improvements. In the case of my education, the lack of educator diversity had a major impact on my own life and created “blind spots,” which translated to the areas outside schooling. One of the key drawbacks of the problem is the quality of the learning experience alongside the lack of cultural synergies, role modeling, stereotype influence reduction, and the school-to-prison pipeline breaking.
My school was highly similar to many other American educational facilities, where the teachers were predominantly white. For the majority of my life, I was not aware of how teacher diversity can improve the quality of education. It is stated that the same race or ethnicity teachers benefit students of color by providing cultural synergies and role modeling, breaking the school-to-prison system, and reducing the influence of stereotypes (Mangino & Levy, 2019). Students, as members of a multicultural society, should be educated by educators from a wide range of backgrounds to be able to acquire tolerance and mutual respect from the earliest years of their lives. In other words, the quality of education is enhanced by ensuring that all students have access to adequate role models.
Moreover, teacher diversity harnesses cultural synergies because when I had classes with teachers from different backgrounds, I was able to learn not only about the specific subject but also the represented culture. I have witnessed how some minority students in my class, who were not represented by teachers’ culture, struggled to be active during the sessions, which affected their overall performance. The main evident reason is the fact that they did not share a common heritage and experience, which inadvertently affects one’s development and growth.
My limited exposure to a diverse set of educators had the most significant impact on stereotype elimination. As I grew up, both society and media, alongside my non-diverse community, promoted stereotypes about certain groups of people. Although the process is mostly unconscious, such a way of thinking has a real impact on the dynamics of building relationships and navigating interactions. Because I had few teachers with different cultural backgrounds than mine, I was able to get rid of the stereotypical thinking and began to understand their culture’s unique characteristics at an improved level. However, I am afraid that I might subconsciously hold certain stereotypical beliefs about cultures, which were not represented by my educators. This can be considered as a main “blind spot” of the absent heterogeneity among teacher diversity. In addition, one of the direst aspects of non-diversity among teachers is the fact that some of my peers fell victim to the school-to-prison pipeline. The connection was not evident before I read the given piece on teacher diversity, but I understand that these factors are intertwined.
In conclusion, teacher diversity is an essential part of high-quality education, which needs to be addressed at both national and community-based levels. The main reason is that it can have serious ramifications on all students, especially on the ones who were not represented by their cultural backgrounds among the educators. My limited exposure to a diverse set of teachers was manifested in the noticeable fact that I was influenced in regards to becoming compassionate and understanding towards different races and ethnicities.
Mangino, W., & Levy, L. (2019). Teacher diversity in Long Island’s public schools. Web.