Theses Doctoral

I Don't Wanna Teach No More: Everyday Struggles and Stereotypes of the Black Male Educator Misunderstood

Mathews, Joseph DeWayne

This is a study of teacher pushout among Black male educators. In particular, this study examines experiences that prompted Black male teachers to resign or be terminated from teaching positions with the goal of exploring contributing factors to Black male teacher turnover. Drawing from the pushout stories of 9 Black male educators, this study found that Black male teachers experienced pushout in three phases: 1) the Reason – characterized by idealistic and hopeful feelings about being a change agent in the lives of students, 2) the Reality – characterized by various turning points that made it clear that the teaching positions these teachers were in might be less than ideal, and 3) the Removal – characterized by a steady escalation of negative events and interactions that eventually led to their pushout (through firing or resignation). Within these phases, several themes emerged. During the Reason phase, participants reported feeling a sense of responsibility to teach and mentor disadvantaged students – particularly Black males, love for teaching, and a sense of calling to teach. The Reality phase was characterized by pressure to conform to the expectation of masculinity suppression or over-expression depending on the needs and desires of co-workers and administration, limitations on creativity, and pressure to go along with policies and practices that participants felt were unethical or ineffective. Finally, the Removal phase was characterized by a culmination event that resulted in a move to another school or out of the field of education entirely. This dissertation builds on research about teacher turnover and identifies teacher pushout, a specific phenomenon within teacher turnover. Further, this study examines pushout among Black males.


  • thumnail for Mathews_tc.columbia_0055E_10986.pdf Mathews_tc.columbia_0055E_10986.pdf application/pdf 551 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Interdisciplinary Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
Morrell, Ernest
Sealey-Ruiz, Yolanda
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
August 27, 2019