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Profound Gentlemen Reports Success in Retaining Black Male Teachers

Profound Gentlemen founders, Mario Jovan Shaw (r) and Jason Terrell
Gwendolyn Glenn
Profound Gentlemen founders, Mario Jovan Shaw (r) and Jason Terrell

Profound Gentlemen reports success in keeping more African-American men in the classroom

After one year of providing professional development and other support to African-American male teachers, the founders of the group Profound Gentlemen say their work is paying off.

Former CMS teachers Mario Shaw and Jason Terrell founded Profound Gentlemen last year as a way to increase the retention rate of African-American male teachers. Terrell says of their more than 500 members nationwide—about 100 are in Charlotte—96 percent are returning this school year.

“This compares to 65% of men of color who are not members of Profound Gentlemen,” Terrell said.

Terrell and Shaw say they lost 5 teachers in Charlotte, but most are still in education.

Gwendolyn Glenn

“We did lose a couple of guys who went to Chicago and other places to teach. A lot of that was because those schools are more competitive in terms of their recruiting, pay was higher and they had more autonomy in their schools,” Terrell said.

Shaw added, “We gained some other guys from other regions, so the numbers evened out.”

A big reason black men leave the classroom is they often are the only male or person of color at their school and feel isolated. Through Profound Gentlemen, they are assigned to small groups where they can connect with other black male teachers by text, computer or phone daily when they have problems.

Nationwide, only 2 percent of all teachers are African-American men. It’s 5 percent in CMS, or 519 teachers…that’s down six from last year.

Copyright 2016 WFAE

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
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