BTC provides a multi-year fellowship centered on tapping into the unique potential found when Black educators teach Black students.
We provide Black teachers with standards-aligned training on pedagogical strategies shown to drive academic success, encourage positive socio-emotional development, and build strong racial identity in Black students with a focus on building literacy.
“For I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth”
-Mary McLeod Bethune
Fellowship Growth Stages
During the first and second year of the Fellowship, we develop designated Black school leaders and a select cohort of their Black teachers in our SRILE Pedagogy*.
After year two, a subset of educators are selected to serve as BTC Teacher-Leaders. We provide them with additional training for the purpose of working alongside their principal to share program fundamentals and insights with school staff for long-term and school-wide application.
BTC SEEKS TO PARTNER WITH SCHOOLS WITH
• 65% or greater Black teachers
• 80% or greater Black students
• 5-7 Black educators committed to program participation
• 3rd-5th grade Elementary school teachers or 6th-10th grade secondary school Social Studies or ELA teachers
• School leader/designee committed to participating in 3-4 cross-regional Professional Learning Community sessions
BTC seeks Leaders with the intrinsic belief that
• Black students should have Black teachers and benefit from having Black teachers
• Black teachers are positioned to have a unique and added impact on the comprehensive outcomes of Black children
• Teachers need and deserve professional development at all stages in their tenure
BTC SEEKS BLACK TEACHERS WHO
• Have a deep belief in the inherent genius of Black children
• Believe that Black children both require and deserve care, love, and respect
• Believe that their Black racial identity and their students Black racial identity impacts how they are experienced
• Demonstrate the willingness to both learn and unlearn frameworks, concepts, and strategies
• Are passionate and excited about teaching and believe teachers have a critical role in promoting social change
BTC’S SRILE PEDAGOGY
SRILE an acronym for Shared Racial Identity Learning Environments which BTC defines as schools where the majority of the teaching staff and the majority of the student population share the same racial identity. BTC’s work focuses on Black SRILE spaces. There is an ever increasing body of research that suggest Black students benefit from having Black teachers including a recent report from Johns Hopkins University Black Teachers Make a Difference.
The pedagogical framework the Fellowship is based upon includes:
Five educational goals that Black liberation based teachers have when teaching Black students
• Love of Learning and Intellectual Excellence
• Strong Racial Identity
• Sociopolitical Consciousness
• Collective Responsibility
Two core pathways that excellent Black teachers use to reach those goals
• Culturally Compatible and Community Connected Praxis
• High Expectations (academic, social, behavioral) of students, their families and their communities
One core foundational mindset/belief that drives all of excellent Black teachers work
• An ethic of critical care and love from which all other actions and choices grow
THE PEDAGOGICAL ELEMENTS PRIORITIZED IN YEAR ONE
Black teachers view their students as family members deserving of care, individuals whose collective destinies are intertwined with their own. As such, with great care, Black teachers demand and support their students’ overall wellbeing and academic success as the would their own because the two are, in fact, one and the same.
Black teachers are aware of the social inequities that impact Black people’s lives, as well as their root causes, and actively work in solidarity with the Black community to achieve liberation through their role as a classroom teacher
Central to strong racial identity are beliefs that being Black is a central and positive aspect of identity and experience. Deep self-knowledge, Diasporic literacy and self-love are also crucial aspects of strong racial identity. Thus, in alignment with Black children’s caregivers and communities, Black teachers take on the responsibility of building strong racial identities in Black children through instruction, classroom culture and within the context of student-teacher relationships. To do so effectively, Black teachers must both possess strong racial identity and continuously build upon it.
Black teachers must maintain high expectations of Black students’ academic, social, and personal performance, insist with warmth and firmness that Black students meet these expectations and provide personal, social, emotional, and instructional experiences and supports to Black students as they strive to meet the high expectations that have been laid out before them.