It’s More Than Just Black and White

Janae Polk, Staff Writer

Teacher Diversity is one of the most controversial issues within schools across the nation.

At Da Vinci, the diversity of the student population is extremely high, but much debate has risen due to the lack of diversity amongst the staff. Students hold no judgment against the lack of diversity, but do share their concerned thoughts.

Most people have the misconception that the staff on campus mostly consists of white male teachers. However, there is also a mix of different ethnicities, such as Asian-Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and more.

Madison Aubry, a current senior at Da Vinci Communications High School shares that she believes, “Teacher diversity is important. It allows students to learn from different points of view and get to learn from their teachers’ various experiences. Students are able to connect better with their teachers if they have things in common.”  

Aubry claims she’s never had any problems with the lack of diversity, but expresses that “we need teachers that are diverse so we can balance the insensitivity with understanding.”

Having a diverse teacher population could form stronger bonds between instructors and students, building a more comfortable environment. Many teachers of color can benefit students’ learning because they can connect with the students and share different experiences.

“Diversity in school staff is important, especially when it comes to the educators themselves. Diversity [is vital], not just in a high school, but from a very early age because we are recognizing that people of color can be well-educated people with authority,” says Tatiana Uribe, a current Junior at Da Vinci Communications.

Students of color may view teachers of color as an indicator of success. It brings a sense of accomplishment within their own communities. To see their own in a position of authority, breaking negative stereotypes, can do great thing for students, making them more interactive in their classes.

Robert Allen, the current World and U.S. History teacher here at DVC believes “it is important for any ethnic or social group to see members of their own communities in positions of authority and accomplishment. Teachers have a powerful role to play in the lives of students, so it is even more important that we have a diverse body of educators.”

It’s imperative to stress the importance of teacher diversity due to the connection it can build in school communities.

Nathan Barrymore, the principal of DVC, who takes charge in hiring new staff expresses that “our teachers are a bit less diverse than our staff as a whole. [He] would love our staff to be reflective racially for some combination of our student body.”

Barrymore goes on to share that “we don’t hire based on race, we hire based on who we believe will be great teachers.”

The lack of diversity here at Da Vinci isn’t a horrible thing; the teachers diffuse their passion into their lessons, making learning very enjoyable. They always ensure that everyone’s an active participant.

They essentially teach things that are vital to our future, making sure we grasp onto the bigger picture of things.

Barrymore further explains that “while we strive to have a diverse staff, our number one criteria for hiring teachers is how good they will be at teaching, and because of that, we have the great teaching staff that [he has] such great respect for today.”

Although the diversity of the student body is large and the diversity of the teaching staff is low here at DVC, it doesn’t define the success of the school.
The excellent teachers that are provided to students each day, give the school it’s phenomenal reputation.