2024 Diversity & Equity in Education Campaign
“A hallmark of the Latino community is to help one another, if students are interested in a way to give back and help their communities, becoming a teacher is probably one of the very best ways of doing that.” – Ellen Ochoa, engineer, astronaut, former Director of the Johnson Space Center
Appreciate The Whole Person, and Avoid Assumptions
Hispanic identity can be complex. Teachers of Spanish and/or Portuguese descent may use different terms to describe their ethnicity—for example, a recent survey discussed preferences between “Hispanic,” “Latino,” and the newer term, “Latinx.” Pay attention, and respect how someone identifies if they choose to share that information with you and your colleagues. And avoid making assumptions, especially about someone’s country of origin. For example, referring to a candidate as “Hispanic” instead of “Mexican,” is a better way to acknowledge their ethnicity if you don’t actually know their specific background.
- The population of Hispanic students is on the rise, but schools and districts need to do a better job of hiring teachers from Spanish and/or Portuguese backgrounds, especially because higher percentage of Hispanic teachers can boost student performance.
- Avoid assumptions, and listen to how Hispanic/Latino teachers and teacher candidates identify themselves and their backgrounds.
- Be aware of the ranges of experiences Hispanic teacher candidates can bring to the classroom.
Hire and Retain Hispanic & Latino Teachers
There are numerous studies to show that recruitment of diverse teachers in our schools can bring some real benefits to students. As recently reported, new studies indicate that increases in the percentage of Hispanic/Latino teachers at a school may even lead to higher enrollments of Hispanic students in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
It’s crucial to acknowledge that the population of Hispanic students is on the rise, but it appears that the percentage of Hispanic teachers continues to lag. While “Hispanic” is a broad term that can include people from a range of countries, cultures, and skin colors, it’s also a term that’s been used for centuries to refer to Spanish language, cultures, and people. Looking ahead to the future, it’s clear that schools and districts will need to hire more teachers who identify Hispanic or Latino to ensure their faculty more accurately reflects their student body—especially when doing so can provide meaningful benefits to students.
When recruiting Hispanic teachers, it’s important to recognize that Hispanic teachers can bring a range of experiences to the classroom. As you work to recruit teachers who identify as Hispanic or Latino, know that not every candidate will have the same story, and so don’t assume other aspects of their identity, like immigration status or linguistic ability. Instead, offer candidates opportunities to talk about their unique skill sets and backgrounds, and let them lead the way on sharing their own professional and personal story.
Diversity recruitment can be challenging, which is why DIVERSITY in Ed Magazine & Online Service has worked for 19 years to provide guidance on diversity issues to principals, administrators, and teacher candidates entering the workforce. By connecting recruiters with diverse talent, we help support our community and help schools and districts improve teacher diversity—and student outcomes.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
This spring’s event is coming right up, on April 13th from 10 AM to 1 PM, CST, so hold your spot now to get in a good position to fill vacancies and help improve your school’s diversity at the same time.