There is a shortage of Black men pursuing and or entering the pre-K-12 teaching profession. Some of the causes for the lack of Black men in the teaching profession stems from burnout, the school-to-prison pipeline, bad experiences as students, and a myriad of other reasons. We believe that Black men having a criminal record has not been fully explored or brought to the forefront as a major issue amongst the teaching profession and teacher preparation programs. To highlight this issue, we highlight and center the experience of one Black male who wanted to become an elementary reading teacher but was unable to due to his criminal record via a case study approach and a layered textual analysis. Specifically, we investigate what inspired a Black man’s interest in pursuing a teaching career and what factors altered or contributed to his deviation from pursuing the teaching profession. We then offer suggestions for research, practice, and policy with hopes that these suggestions provide teacher preparation programs and the teaching profession at-large with tangible tangles goals and task to address the Black male shortage in the pre-K-12 profession.


aspiration, Black male teachers, case study, criminal record, narrative

Author Bio(s)

Terrence S. McTier Jr., is the former Interim Dean of Students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His work examines the experiences of college students with criminal records and the various factors that affect or impact their transitions in traditional higher education settings. Please direct correspondence to terrencemctier@gmail.com.

Cameron C. Beatty is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. His research explores the intersections of gender and race in leadership education, leadership development of Students of Color on white campuses, and racial battle fatigue. Please direct correspondence to cbeatty@fsu.edu.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.