Gerald Hairston, Ed.D
Minority Teacher Recruiting Coordinator
Expert Solutions staff seek to continuously develop innovative programs in partnership with local school districts and the State Department of Education to increase racial and cultural diversity in the classrooms of Connecticut. The Minority Teacher Recruiting (MTR) program focuses on increasing teacher diversity, and is integral to having equitable practices and achievement for students of color in our schools. Teacher quality has been identified as an essential element for school reform and the success of students of color. Issues of cultural competence and diversity in the teacher workforce are critical factors in improving the performance of students of color. The imperative for racial and cultural diversity are central factors in the quality equation in teaching. Increasing the percentage of teachers of color in the workforce is connected to improving the educational experiences of all of all students.
Policymakers, teacher educators, community members, students, parents, and school leaders recognize that the education profession needs more teachers of color. More teachers of color would increase educator role models as educators, for students of color and all students. Research findings include that teachers of color:
- Provide life experiences that enhance the learning experiences for students from different and similar backgrounds.
- Enrich the experiences of students' of color because of shared racial, ethnic, and cultural identities.
- Relate to students who have been historically and typically disenfranchised and through the relationship give students access to resources (information and skills) that help them navigate their school environment and the larger society.
While the recruiting landscape continues to change, our vision remains the same. Our programming is comprehensively designed to support local school districts in recruiting, retaining, and advancing teachers and administrators of color.
As we provide educational leadership in developing diverse classrooms, we are providing a lasting legacy of racial and cultural literacy that will impact the academic, social and economic success of the children and their families throughout the state of Connecticut. By providing a culturally rich learning environment for all children, we are equipping our students to successfully thrive in and contribute to their local, state, and global communities.