- Hispanic students make up about a quarter of the nation’s student population but only about 2% of its teaching workforce, but there remains a gap in the development of talent pipelines to ensure more Hispanic men pursue the teaching profession, Education Week reports.
- Programs such as the University of Colorada Denver’s NxtGEN Teacher Residency program and the Pathways2Teaching program help develop aspiring teachers and support them through the obstacles they may face on the way to getting their teaching degree.
- The importance of developing such pathways is increasing since the number of Hispanic teachers entering the profession is not keeping pace with the rapid growth in the number of Hispanic students.
The need for a diverse teacher workforce is important because research indicates that the disparity between minority teachers and minority students negatively impacts academic performance. Students often learn better when they see teachers who they can relate to culturally and view as a role model for their own future path in life — even if they're not directly taught by that person. This issue is particularly important because there are fewer K-12 Hispanic teachers than white or African-American teachers, even though the Hispanic student population is growing at a faster rate. The need for more men in the teaching profession, especially in the elementary grades, is also well-documented.
With a limited pool of talent in these areas, public schools are looking at new ways to recruit Hispanic teachers. As a result, high schools and colleges are having to look at new ways to draw Hispanic men to the profession. Programs such as NxtGEN and Pathways2Teaching may be limited in scope, but these efforts can be duplicated or adapted to other parts of the country and are well-worth exploring. This issue is also important to schools seeing a greater need for Spanish-speaking teachers to aid in the growing demand for bilingual education programs. Providing encouragement and support to Hispanic students who seem interested in pursuing a career in education can provide benefits to all students in the long run.