Reimagining a Diversified Teacher Pipeline through Student-Centered Learning

Across the United States, it’s well known that there is a shortage of diverse teachers and curriculums inside classrooms. The growing dialogs on student-centered learning has become the new indispensable model to reimagine and diversify education. While supporting the learner as an individual, barriers affecting progress can be easily addressed and eliminated by allowing students to take on a more active and divisive role in their learning experience. By diversifying, immersing, recruiting and retaining teachers of color, we are taking a step forward to encourage a diversified teacher pipeline and strengthen the pedagogical praxis through student-centered learning.

Recently, the Wake County Board of Education recently voted to make its first equity policy for the district a reality, seeking to close the gaps in academic outcomes among students from different demographic groups. In short, the policy aims to be more reflective than a set of goals, procedures and regulations needed to address the current plight of education in North Carolina’s largest school district. There seems to be a sense of relief for the state, since several new board members will be sworn in at the beginning of December, five of the current nine members have chosen to not run for reelection.  Education and equity remains a major hot topic for school districts, and by eliminating disparities in student outcomes, systemic inequities will  become  less problematic for leaders and students will become capable of reaching their full potential.

The Wake County Public School System current policy failed to foster diverse and inclusive teaching resources for every student, and this has been problematic ever since the inception of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and its unrealistic pillars. How can we help students feel connected and receptive in a society that blurs realities, changes narratives, and silences voices? We must continue to address the invisible tax and create affirming school cultures that are both challenging and supportive. The myriad of academic, social, and emotional concerns will need to evolve and become reflective of the current culture while remaining nonpartisan and accountable at all time.

The Wake County Public School System could benefit greatly  by remaining aligned with the new equity policy  to ensure greater educator diversity, cultural responsiveness, and improved student outcomes.Today, there is hope and we are finally able to take a more proactive step towards developing solutions to restore integrity to the profession and dismantle barriers that have forced so many educators out of the classroom, especially those of color.

Some potential benefits of diversifying the teacher load and implementing student-centered learning are:

  • Students become more active in the learning process

  • Students are being constantly challenged with new concepts and ideas

  • Students ae moderating classroom discussions

  • Students conducting independent research are able to gain practical experience

  • Project based learning facilitates collaborative groups and encourages teamwork

  • The improvement of attentiveness and engagement in students

  • Plays an important role in the development of the individual as a leaner

  • Students are able to think critically and work independently with  minimal oversight

  • It enhances leadership abilities and builds necessary skills

  • Students are able to build and maintain strong and long-lasting rapport in the school community

Now the time has come that we reclaim power and honor the legacies that enable a level of commitment to ensure education equity, social justice, teacher diversity, and leadership development!