This edition of the PG Highlights series focuses on the area of early childhood education. This is another areas where there is a great need for more male educators of color in Pre K – 5 classrooms in public schools.

This week we highlight Antonio Ellis of Griffin, Georgia. He’s currently a 5th Grade Teacher at Cowan Road Elementary.

I recently had the opportunity to gather Antonio’s thoughts on this driving question regarding early education. What’s the most effective support we can provide for Black parents responsible for the education of school aged children?

The most effective support we can provide for Black parents is by building relationships with the parents. In most cases parents feel intimidated to talk to teachers because that relationship wasn’t established on the front end.

I hear a lot of teachers make comments about parents don’t care about their child’s education and that really doesn’t sit well with me.

As a parent myself I understand the challenges that a parent face on a daily basis. A lot of our parents are single moms and dads that have to work to provide for the family and a lot of times the jobs they have doesn’t allow them the time to be at school events.

I really believe we have an open line of communication and meet the parents where they are at by establishing relationships.