Dallas ISD is expanding an initiative called the Adjunct Teacher Dallas Residency Program to recruit more Latino male teachers.
DISD has around 150,000 students and about 70% population is made up of Hispanic/Latino students.
"All the research shows that if you have someone that looks like you, someone that you know you can relate to and talks like you and can understand you and maybe grew up, you know, in the same circumstances that you did, you have a higher rate of success," said DISD Deputy Chief of Human Capital Management, John Vega. "And so, the long, long term goal is for for our kids to obviously go to college and so that's why this is very important for us."
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He said the program will choose around 10 people who apply. They'll receive a $25,000 salary, training starts in August, the district will pay for certification, and once completed in December, they'll be placed in a classroom in 2021.
Vega said currently they need more Latino male teacher representation in the high schools.
Luis Macias, a teacher who works at Trinidad "Trini" Garza Early College High and also attended the school as a teen, said he became a teacher to help give back.
Macias, who is a Latino male himself, said his first interaction with a Latino male teacher was in high school.
“I’m able to relate to the students a little bit more and they are able to relate to me more, as well, because I know their backgrounds because I know where they come from, their history, lived similar lives," Macias said.
He said many of these students are either Hispanic/Latino, first-generation American, or immigrants.
“It’s really important for us to recognize who we are serving as educators," said Macias who said he's an immigrant himself. “Even though you come from this disadvantaged background you can still make it, you can still get your education."
"Obviously I love my teachers but there are a lot more female teachers than there are male teachers and we feel like we’d be better represented or understand school better if more people are like us," said senior at Trini David Cazares.
He's a student of Macias' and said he looks up to him.
"I personally have very few college-educated family members, but seeing people come from a similar background, it is inspiring," Cazares said. “He came from a similar background as I did, and he said he struggled through earlier in life and now that he’s a teacher, at the school he went to, it says a lot about the school and things improving in general.”
“It makes me happy to hear that, and I want to continue, hopefully, being that positive influence on students," said Macias who encourages others to become educators.
The district established this program last year to hire more Black male teachers. Out of 700 applicants, the district hired around 13 people who received training through the district.