Local teacher surprised with $ 50,000 in student loan debt
The series “Their Call” tells the story of Thetis White, a 5th grade teacher, a former football coach who made an impact on the lives of students at Monroe Elementary School.
BROOKLYN PARK, Minnesota – It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, which makes it a great time to present our special month-long series, “Their Call”.
We are partnering with Box Tops for Education and Black Men Teach Twin Cities to share the stories of amazing teachers who are statistically under-represented but have an extremely positive impact on students.
The first story in our series centers on Thetis White, who found his calling later in life after working on the sidelines as a football coach. “I wanted to see the students go beyond high school and become more or better part of the community.”
Instead of the field, you’ll find him in the classroom at Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park, teaching 5th grade students. “The reason I chose elementary was because I felt I could make an early impact in their life. The more I insist and teach them the fun way or the fun learning styles, it would result in them being older, ”explained Blanc.
The way he approaches his lessons works.
We spoke with several of Mr. White’s students about his impact.
One student said, “At the start of the year, I was the shy kid and I never raised my hand. Now I always raise my hand.”
Another of Mr. White’s 5th graders mentioned, “He always tells us not to put in a half effort and always to make a total effort. So we always do our best to put in a total effort.”
Mr. White’s presence is powerful and not just in the way he teaches. “There is definitely a need for black men, black men in general in the classroom,” White said. “It’s hard when you don’t have someone who looks like you, who can’t always be able to relate to you in certain situations.”
The nonprofit Black Men Teach Twin Cities, shared this statistic:
Of Minnesota’s 65,000 teachers, only 1.4% are black and only half of 1% of all teachers in the state are black men.
RELATED: Black Men Teach Hopes To Change The Disparities In MN Education One Teacher At A Time.
The importance is not lost on Mr. White or his colleagues and students who contributed to an incredible surprise last week.
BoxTops for Education and Black Men Teach Twin Cities presented White with a check for $ 50,000 for tuition reimbursement.
Tuition debt is often a major obstacle for educators.
One of the surprised students said, “I think it’s a good thing they did. Because I know he deserves it a lot.”
Another child explained, “He didn’t care about his debt. He just wanted to be in the classroom teaching the kids.”
White confirmed those thoughts when he said, “I went into education to make a difference, period. And that’s what I was really grateful for. And then to be recognized, and want someone really helps you along the way, it’s amazing. feeling. ”
You’ll hear more stories like Mr. White’s on Wednesdays in May.
Meanwhile, Box Tops for Education is donating $ 500,000 to Black Men Teach Twin Cities to help increase the number of black men teaching.
Box Tops is also partnering with the Minneapolis Foundation as part of its Reimagine Education initiative, donating $ 250,000 to local nonprofits and educational organizations as part of its work to improve education. equity in Twin Cities schools. These funds will focus on programs to better equip and train teachers, and support school culture initiatives aimed at reducing the negative consequences of racism and unconscious prejudices in the classroom.