Week #4

2020 Diversity & Equity in Education Campaign

“Because we don’t hear someone asking for help, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not needed…I think with a lot of our [Asian American] students, that’s very much the case. If you see students that might be academically performing well, you might not necessarily see the big picture.”

-Sarah Ha, Senior Managing Director for Teach For America’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative

Recruiting Tip #4:

Be Clear About Your School’s Needs, and Offer Room for the Candidate to Shine


  1. Asian American teachers make up less than 2 percent of teachers in American, despite growing rates of Asian American students.
  2. The recent increase in the number of Asian Americans in the U.S. is due to recent immigration patterns; while not all teacher candidates will share that background, there is a clear need for students who are new to the U.S. to see teachers who look like them who can help them succeed in both academic and non-academic aspects of their educational life.
  3. Some data suggests that Asian American teachers actually have a much higher retention rate than White, Black, or Hispanic teachers.

Hire and Retain ASIAN-AMERICAN Teachers

The makeup of the United States continues to change, becoming more diverse each day with new faces arriving with their talent and dreams each year. This change is readily seen in our schools, which show a diverse body of students with a range of strengths and challenges just waiting to be supported by talented teachers.

But despite the significant increase in the Asian American population, which is primarily driven by recent immigration, Asian American teachers still only make up less than 2 percent of the teaching workforce, as reported by data from the National Center for Education Statistics. But the good news is that data also suggests that Asian American teachers have a much higher retention rate than their White, Black, and Hispanic peers, which indicates that better recruitment of Asian American teachers will have lasting results.

Asian American teachers—and students—routinely report that they can feel increased pressure to be a “model minority” and/or experience some complex feelings of not being truly visible as people of color. In addition, media representation has often fueled some of these stereotypes, which always trickles down into the classroom. Having more Asian American teachers on your faculty can help you better inform both school culture and instruction, and there are more resources than ever before to help support both teachers and students. In 2015, the White House launched an initiative aimed at stopping bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander students (AAPI), who can face additional classroom cruelties due to language and cultural barriers.

Connecting schools with teachers and teachers with students can be a complex dance, especially when schools are working to meet their diversity goals. While most administrators know that diversity is an excellent goal to shoot for, it can be difficult to figure out the best path forward. DIVERSITY in Ed Magazine & Online Service has provided expert guidance to principals, recruiters, and teacher candidates themselves for over 15 years, and we’re happy to keep doing so amidst these turbulent times.


Throughout the summer of 2020, DIVERSITY in Ed will keep offering tips and articles to support recruiters in their work to hire and retain quality teachers of color. Come back each week for digital content on the blog, and keep in touch to learn more about this fall’s Virtual Meet & Greet with Teachers of Color & Diverse Cultures.

Read on for our next tip of the series, or if you’re ready to dive in, please sign up today to reserve your place at our next event!