Guest Post via @wmjackson: 5000 Role Models and Call Me Mister in Duval County Public Schools

5000 Role Models and Call Me Mister in Duval County Public Schools

“Call Me Mister” from Edward Waters College
in Jacksonville, Florida attending church

5000 Role Models and Call Me Mister in Duval County Public Schools

The need for qualified male teachers is a serious issue
in school systems nationally.
Public, private, parochial and in higher education the
demand for male teachers is high, but the availability of male teachers is small. There are multiple reasons, for
the decline of men in education, too many to mention in
this Blog.

“My Quest To Teach” is about my experiences and desire not only to teach, but to mentor. I encourage men to be educators and mentors. It is not just a Black thing, it is a male thing. More males need to be involved. Just as Mayor Alvin Brown, the first African-American, to become Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, and Barack Obama, the first African-American President mentor thousands of youth,
they are role models, mentors, and inspirations to millions
as do other men of color and culture.

Men can fill stadiums, clubs, bars, but can’t/won’t consistently
visit schools to mentor. There are too many young men and
women behind prison bars that do not have positive role models,
caring male adults that are serious about the value and empowerment
of education. In my elementary school, there are three male teachers
in various roles and we all make a difference in our school.
Elementary school is the foundation for educational success or
can be a struggle and frustration if kids are not supported
and valued.

Mayor Brown and The Crew
Mayor Alvin Brown with educator William Jackson
mentoring youth from past community events in
Jacksonville, Florida

The First Teacher:
A child’s first teacher and mentor should be their parents,
but with children having children, many of these new parents lack the maturity, knowledge, and patience to raise their children with critical skills that are important. Young parents have not learned how to be mature adults through their limited life experiences and lack of personal role models themselves. Having a baby does not make you an adult, a woman or a man, having a baby at a young age makes you a baby with a baby.

Mentors are Important:
Mentors teach how to interact with the world, the difference
between right and wrong, how to improve life by making mature
decisions, how to deal with the struggles and challenges of
growing up and the value of life. Mentors teach why education
and choosing a career are important. Why exposure to cultural,
community and faith-based activities are important. Mentors
teach why a person should be involved in their communities
to “give back.” Mentors “pay it forward” with respect,
discipline and time well spent being a model and
providing support.

Students with mentors are less likely to:
Miss school, take drugs, use alcohol, fight with their parents,
have sex, feel alone, act out as bullies, less likely to be involved
in criminal behavior and drop out of school. Those with
mentors are also less likely to be teen parents themselves.
There is power to being a mentor.

Speaking at the Florida Blogging Conference
for Educators and Students William Jackson

Being a Teacher:
More men should be in education, with programs like
Call Me Mister and others that are similar, there are
growing opportunities to help men grow as qualified and capable educators. It should not look weird for men to be educators, it should be welcomed and embraced. Being a male teacher means there is a greater responsibility to be a positive force in the lives of children that are Black, White, Asian, Latino, Mexican, and other nationalities and cultures: working not only in the classroom but being involved in the community. Being a teacher and male means understanding that you are held to a higher standard and community expectations are high for a teacher’s appearance, actions, contributions and behavior in public.

These are what young men need to see, and young ladies
need to have expectations for the young men they meet
in life. From the Call Me Mister programs across this country
helping to prepare new teachers that are male to mentoring
programs such as 5000 Role Models working hard in Miami,
Florida and Jacksonville, Florida. The work is needed, but the
workers are few.

Why I Mentor and Teach and Men Should Too:
I mentor to contribute to the positive growth and development
of youth. I mentor to give back to my community in a productive
way. I mentor to see the sparkle in children’s eyes as they realize
they can accomplish great things in their lives with a good education.
I mentor so children do not feel alone in the world, they do have
someone to talk to and connect with. I mentor not for money or
fame, but to lift children up to a higher level that promotes success.
I mentor to prove that Black men are doing positive things in
their community and not trying to sleep with every woman they
know, or deal with drugs and use alcohol to get nasty highs or
sloppy drunk. I mentor to be a role model to other teachers,
other Black men, and young Black professionals. I mentor
because single moms and grandmothers raising
children need to be able to trust someone to be positive
to their children. I mentor because sometimes single fathers
need the help of their brothers to help them also.

I mentor as a teacher to show that teachers cannot choose
who they teach or choose who not to teach, but accept all
students as they are. I mentor because I’m responsible
and accountable for the children I teach. I mentor because
parents need a role model in teachers who are concerned
with the whole family. I teach because a teacher saved
my life and I want to “pay it forward,” and pay it back.

I teach and mentor to give children a chance at success and happiness as I was given. I mentor and teach because it is needed now more than ever. There are too many men who shout and yell about what they can do, still do nothing, but play games and sell “wolf tickets” filled with lies and empty promises to children that need love, respect, compassion and faith in someone.

Teen America
Speaking to Teen Leaders of  America
about Social Media Safety

Get Involved:
Call Me Mister Programs

Edward Waters College
Educational Requirements for Edward Waters Call Me MISTER
5000 Roll Models Miami, Florida
Duval County Public Schools 5000

True words that cut to the heart of teen crime
and academic failure


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