Hamilton County Schools Launches MTOC Program
Posted on 02/27/2024
Hamilton County Schools Launches MTOC ProgramChattanooga, Tennessee- Hamilton County Schools has launched the first Male Teachers of Color (MTOC) mentorship program cohort this year. This program brings together HCS teachers to meet quarterly to enhance their professional development and build a supportive community. In a district where 3% of male teachers are of color, exceeding the national average of 2%, MTOC aims to increase representation and retention rates among male teachers of color.

Through MTOC, HCS is actively enhancing diversity and inclusivity in the educational environment. By providing personalized support and growth opportunities, the district invests in teachers' success while improving the educational experience for all students. Aligned with the broader vision of Opportunity 2030, programs like MTOC reflect the district's commitment to ensuring that every staff member feels valued and empowered to excel in their roles.

Arthur Williams, Instructional Coach at East Ridge Elementary, emphasized, “The district has said multiple times that they are committed to the diversity of our teaching staff matching the diversity of our students, but that does not happen by accident; it has to be intentional.” The first cohort set forth their expectations of the program, which aims to make a significant impact through professional development, guest speakers, and initiatives targeted at recruiting the next generation of male teachers of color.

Micheal Mitchell from Barger Academy shared his insights: “Being part of the first cohort and interacting with MTOC has been enlightening. Observing the ratio of black male teachers to black male students was a pivotal moment, motivating me to encourage students to consider leadership and teaching roles.” The first cohort of MTOC will visit the BOND Academy, where the inspiration for MTOC originated and is spearheaded by Dr. Cheryl McCray. Looking ahead, MTOC plans to focus on training for recruiting other male teachers of color. Additionally, next year's cohort will expand to allow each MTOC member to invite an additional participant, and the Female Teachers of Color (FemTOC) program will be introduced.

By nurturing a community that facilitates connections, learning, and growth for male teachers of color, Hamilton County Schools is moving towards a future where all children receive an excellent education and see themselves in those leading them. The MTOC program showcases the district's commitment to creating intentional opportunities and fostering an equitable and inclusive educational environment for the benefit of all students.