The Argument of Upper School Staff Racial Diversity
By Daniel Gallups
Hey all, it's me, Daniel. If you don't know me, well, I'm the white male Senior whose last name is printed on the atrium of Woodruff Hall. I recently had a conversation with one of my fellow classmates about the topic of diversity among Woodward Academy's core faculty. His argument (if I recall correctly) was the premise that the abundance of white teachers and lack of non-white teachers is detrimental to the education of Woodward students. At first, I was appalled by his claim. As a white male, I would rarely consider the fact that the diversity of racial backgrounds among teachers was lacking, as I never noticed. Since there wasn't an "official" table of the diversity among teachers, I decided to go ahead and make one.
Now, before anyone gets pissed off about my personal opinions, please try to open your ears to my privileged, spoiled thoughts. If you think my opinions are utter garbage, this article still has objective value concerning the racial backgrounds of core teachers at Woodward Academy. I am fully aware of the fact that my experiences may be much different from my peers due to my background. With that being said, lets dive into the data.
Quick note: when I refer to "core teachers," I mean teachers trained in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages. Keep in mind that my data includes two other populations: the College Counseling department and the Upper School Executive Administration.
The most important data set involved are the individual departments of the Upper School. For complete transparency, the racial diversity of each department is listed below:
Wow. That's a lot of white. But the fact I even took the time to create this data exemplifies the underlying problem of the argument: judging teachers based solely on the color of their skin is not only inherently racist, but it is detrimental to determining the capability of teachers to teach (so surprising I'd go for this argument right? /sarcasm). The ultimate goal of a teacher is to assist us in learning the various subjects. To argue that race plays a role in intra-personal relationships between teachers and students, one has to assume that aforementioned relationships transcend the goal of the teacher (these relationships are obviously frowned upon). But Woodward already has measures to prevent this by strictly limiting the number of communication channels available between students and teachers. The official Woodward policy states that there shall be no contact between teachers and students after school-hours except between email. This policy is a surefire way to limit the intimacy between us.
Even if one was to argue that race plays a major role in how teachers teach, the question still remains: Will the course load of such classes be affected by the racial background of the teacher? In my opinion, the course load of a class is mainly affected by the capability of a teacher to teach. Their skin color alone plays little role in such a capability. Per the argument that skin color is linked to different culture, and therefore there is information to be gained that would otherwise be overlooked, I would say the sole role of a teacher is to expose a student to the subject. Of course, my opinion most likely is different from your own, and I want to know your opinion.
Regardless, this is a conversation, not some godly proclamation of what is right or wrong. The data is nonetheless evident that the core faculty of the upper school is disproportionately composed of white teachers. While I might not think of this as a significant issue, you may disagree. Let me know what you think.