Oakland Needs Black Teachers—So Why Can’t We Keep Them, A Teacher’s Story

(A Black teacher who received a non-elect letter shared with us his public comments to the OUSD Board)

My name is Coron Brinson and I am a 2nd grade teacher at Sankofa. I am speaking tonight in regards to my non re election (district speak for “being let go”). It has been a very challenging year. I have been under the leadership of 4 different school leaders. Despite those obstacles I have remained 110% committed to my 2nd graders.

The mission of OUSD is to serve the whole child and eliminate inequity, and provide each child with excellent teachers, every day. The District prides itself in promoting equity that you’ve even created the Office of Equity. Black males make up only 2% of the teacher population in the United States of America!! How is OUSD recruiting more Black male teachers?

A better question is how are YOU helping to support and sustain US in order to thrive as brilliant teachers? Lack of coaching and support leads to Black teachers leaving the profession. Why does this vicious cycle continue to occur?

Thank goodness for the Black Teacher Project, which has been a great asset ,these two years, because it has provided a safe space and helped me with sustainability and my educational practices.

I have also organized parent meetings with Director London, who was pleasantly surprised to see over 50 community members in attendance. Because I know it’s imperative for parents to write their own narratives instead of having it written for them.

I have an on site BTSA (new teacher) coach who has helped me improve my instructional practice as well my P.A.R. coach who comes in to strengthen my classroom management. After losing our on site Literacy Coach I reached out to another  Board Certified Teacher, to help with planning both Writing and Reading Workshop lessons. All of these are beneficial for me upgrading my teacher practices.

My first couple of weeks in the District I went nearly two months without a paycheck, yet I stayed.  After I was finally paid, I received a letter saying I was overpaid and I had to immediately pay it back.  Yet I decided to stay with the District.

I am requesting that my non re election status for OUSD be rescinded and that I be allowed to teach Fall 2018. I believe as a Black male educator in the District I possess many admirable traits that benefit my students. I am open to improving my areas of growth and overall instructional practices through mentorship and support. A decision to keep me in the District will prove to be the right one!



What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Oakland Needs Black Teachers—So Why Can’t We Keep Them, A Teacher’s Story

  1. The absence of Black male teachers in OUSD classrooms mirror the problems in a home where there are no Black male role models. Therefore, the question you raise regarding OUSD’s lack of recruiting, and retaining more African American male teachers is well founded, and the board should be required to answer.

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