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Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students

Practice Transcending Theory


Edited By Mary Poplin and Claudia Bermudez

Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students contains the quintessential details of highly effective teachers working with students who live in poverty inside our public schools and community colleges. This book features the words and actions of the teachers that can inspire and direct any current or future teacher who wants to be great and be a part of inspiring young people to fulfill their potential. This is the grist we need to spark a reinvigorated critical national conversation about what it takes to really have highly effective teachers in low-income public schools and whether we have the moral courage to work as hard as they do to make educational equity a reality in our nation.

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8. “She kept me in the game”: How Black Males Perceive Effective Teachers (Matthew Smith)


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8. “She kept me in the game”: How Black Males Perceive Effective Teachers


I didn’t have anybody. It felt like you were just a number in school. It’s like, I didn’t really have any teachers there who wanted to know me. I felt they were just there like, “Hey, man. You are good at sports.” But they [didn’t] ever tell me like, “Hey, gear up and get to college.”


The educational experiences of Black males in K–12 institutions have been scrutinized for decades (Berry, 2008; Bonner, King, & Palmer, 2014; Brooms, 2017; Lee, 1996; Martin, Martin, Gibson, & Wilkins, 2007; Polite & Davis, 1999). Unfortunately, many studies justified Black males’ poor educational and social outcomes by peddling narratives that framed Black boys and men as deviant and disengaged from the learning process. Therefore, the pervasive story about Black males in school situates them as being disruptive, uninterested in education, and suffering from negative peer relationships. However, more recently, scholars have begun to counter these dominant narratives by providing examples of Black male achievement (Bailey & Bradbury-Bailey, 2007; Brooms, 2018; Palmer, Wood, Dancy, & Strayhorn, 2014; Uwah, McMahon, & Furlow, 2008). Nevertheless, there is still much to be learned from studies that privilege the voices and experiences of Black males. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to learn more about highly effective teachers through the narratives of Black males regarding...

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