As one of two black male teachers at North Star’s West Side Park Middle School, Raymond Blanks is determined to serve his community and “pay it forward.”
Black men like Raymond continue to be underrepresented in the teaching force, making up only 2 percent of teachers nationwide. Research shows that when students are taught by adults who look like them, their academic performance improves. However, even in Newark, black men make up only about 8 percent of the teaching force. Around half of the students are black.
In an interview with Chalkbeat, Raymond talks about what it’s like being one of the few black male educators in Newark, and how he shows his students the relevance of math in their lives (Raymond is a 6th grade math teacher).
PHOTO CREDIT: Devna Bose/Chalkbeat