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Beyond Race: Teacher-Student Fit in Urban Title I High Schools
  • Tomoko Nakajima
Tomoko Nakajima
University of California, Los Angeles

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Although teachers of color (TOC) are often assumed to be better suited to serve students of color, little is known about how TOC navigate to such settings and what motivates them to stay. In this exploratory study, TOC in Los Angeles County high schools were interviewed about their career pathways, identities, and sense of fit. Participants were most driven to serve students with whom they shared compounded traits beyond race, like having the same ethnic/cultural identities and hometowns, and similar experiences with poverty. Additionally, TOC had to shed their own assumptions of congruence in order to grow in the profession.