As Da Vinci Communications High School continues to expand its class sizes, the school has also brought along new teachers with contrasting backgrounds. This diversity has been long awaited and many of the students here are glad to see that even the school’s teaching staff is just as inclusive as its student body.
Da Vinci Communications has been around for four years and many of the students have been concerned about the absence of Black teachers. Although Da Vinci Communications is known for its culture of assisting and empowering students of different cultural backgrounds, religions, genders, and sexualities, up to this point, many students have felt underrepresented.
Andrew Daramola and Christopher Jackson, the first African-American teachers at Da Vinci Communications, have shown up and already made a positive name for themselves.
Many students have claimed that it has been something that they’ve been waiting to see since they started going to this school.
“ I feel like with having a diverse staff and minorities as teachers it really bring us into closeness” says Janae Polk, a senior at Da Vinci Communications and leader of the Black Student Union. “ You understand them, they can teach you in a way that another teacher can’t.”
In academic settings, people of color haven’t been proportionally represented and it has been difficult to ensure that as the student body continues to expand culturally, so do their instructors.
“The effect that I like to model is that there are Black men doing well, Black men that are doing jobs that are positive,” says Christopher Jackson, the 9th grade English teacher. “There are Black men that have gone to college and have the grades, and just being a great role model.”
“ I think it’s important for students to see teachers of all backgrounds and I think that it’s important for students to have Black teachers and I think that it’s important that students of other races also have Black teachers.
“An important fact to know is that only 2% of teachers in America are Black men so that’s a really low number. So only 2 out of every 100 teachers are black men.” says Andrew Daramola, the 10th grade World History and 11th grade U.S History teacher.
Although it is a normality to be able to relate to our teachers, it is different when students are able to relate to a teacher that connects with them ethnically. Adam Eynon, the Assistant Principal of Da Vinci Communications explains that the importance of an educator isn’t just to teach students and make sure they grasp everything they’re taught. “ It’s about relationships and it’s about trust, it’s community building, it’s culture building.”
It’s crucial that teachers of different backgrounds are able to give their perspective and advice on what they’ve experienced. It definitely brings the sense of closeness and relatability that we as Black students have been striving for.
Overall, it’s important to highlight the success of these two African-American men who have joined our teaching staff as well as the steps that Da Vinci Communications has taken in order to ensure the recruiting and hiring of educated people of color.