MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new study out of Johns Hopkins University suggests black elementary students are more likely to graduate high school and go to college if they have black teachers.
"I think it's really important that students of color should have teachers who look like them," Ayo Akinoladun said.
Akinoladun is a 4th grade English teacher at Aspire Public Schools Memphis. He agrees with the study, but he goes a step further saying black male teachers are especially needed.
"A lot of them grow up without a fatherly figure. So sometimes I have to take off my teacher hat and put on my father hat, and I have to show kids that I really care about them," Akinoladun said.
The Kansas City native and Georgetown University graduate said often times kids are more inspired and do better when they can relate firsthand to their teachers.
Akinoladun said there are very few African American male teachers, but he hopes more will step up and help educate the future leaders of our country.