One man who continues making history in North Texas says he's just beginning to fulfill his mission: Getting more black male teachers in the classroom not just here at home, but across the country.
Eric Hale made history in September after he was named Texas Teacher of the Year, one of a number of accolades that he has received over the past several months. This one, though, is particularly special because he's the first Black man to ever receive the award in the state of Texas.
Hale says he wants to use this platform to get more black men in the classroom.
“We have to do a better job in education, nationwide with, one, the recruitment of men of color. Two, retraining men of color that are already in the profession, getting them the best practices so they can be successful. And lastly, retaining men of color. I really feel like this needs to be a nationwide effort,” said Hale.
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NBC 5 has done a number of stories on Hale and his continued success at Dallas ISD's David G. Burnet Elementary School. Hale has been featured on the Today Show, the Kelly Clarkson show and has been interviewed by media outlets all across the country because of his passion and commitment to speak greatness over the lives of the children that he serves.
“It's just been an incredible journey so far,” said Hale. “I've just got to hold myself even more accountable, because I know I'm a role model to so many other children. Children of color, and children who aren't of color. And so, for many children, I break the stereotypes of what a Black man is or can be, and so that is something I don't take lightly.”
Hale says being a teacher is a very small part of his calling. He's an advocate. A father figure. A counselor.
Hale says it's very needed and very powerful for children of color to be able to reach out and connect with somebody that looks like them, that speaks the language that they speak, and that comes from the culture that they come from, because representation matters.
Hale will represent Texas in Washington later this year in the National Teacher of the Year program, where he'll also have an opportunity to meet President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.