Shayna Terrell is the Managing Director of Program Strategy at The Center for Black Educator Development and a founding member of PEDC.
PEDC’s mission is to increase the diversity of the educator workforce & create a culturally relevant and sustaining education system here in PA. How do you push this work forward in your personal and/or professional capacity?
Have you worked on any projects or initiatives that positively impact the recruiting, mentoring, retaining, or promoting the well-being of BIPOC teachers? If so, how?
I co-launched The Center for Black Educator Development in 2019. Our mission is to rebuild the National Black Teacher Pipeline. As Managing Director of Program Strategy, I lead the teaching pathways department. The teaching pathways department comprises three major programs aimed at exposing, recruiting, training, retaining, and supporting future black educators. Our programs are Freedom Schools Literacy Academy, Teaching (Liberation) Academy, and The Black Teacher Pipeline Fellowship.
Why are you passionate about increasing educator diversity?
I am passionate about increasing educator diversity because I am dedicated to improving the quality of life for Black and Brown children. Research shows that if a Black has a Black teacher, it increases their chances of graduating from high school and going to college.
What challenges are you experiencing in this work?
Are there any regional (or statewide) specific challenges you are facing?
What are some of your needs?
To solve the problem of teacher diversity, we have to invest in our youth. There are not enough programs that work to expose and recruit Black and Brown students in the education field. Stakeholders with decision-making power should work together to build a comprehensive strategy to increase teacher diversity. There are several stand-alone initiatives to solve teacher diversity. They would be more powerful with people working together and combined resources. Funding also needs to be allocated to the right stakeholders doing the on-the-ground work to create long-term solutions to increase teacher diversity.
Have you used any of the PEDC available resources & toolkits? If so, how?
I was one of the authors of the recruitment toolkit, and my organization also helped to create the retention toolkit. We use the retention toolkit as a current resource with our current district partners.
How can people connect with you and continue to follow your work?
I encourage you to visit our website www.thecenterblacked.org. I also host a podcast called “Building the Black Educator Pipeline” and you can subscribe on all major platforms.
Welcome to the PEDC Member Spotlight! This monthly blog series highlights the diverse ways those in our community are progressing towards creating a culturally relevant and sustaining education system here in Pennsylvania.