Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

By Vivian Gunn Morris; Curtis L. Morris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4

Remembering the Teachers: The Heart of the Matter

I think we had teachers there [Trenholm High School] who had our interest at heart. They wanted us not only to do well but to move further along than they did themselves. And always encouraged us to do the very best that we could. There was loyalty to us from them and from us to them. So they were disappointed if we didn’t do well.

1957 graduate of Trenholm


WHAT WAS GOOD?

Graduates of Trenholm High School, parents, and other community residents believe that the major factor that contributed to the excellence of their school was the quality and dedication of the teachers. The range of school programs and activities were rated as the second factor and parental and community support and involvement were chosen as number three. The factor mentioned most often by the school community was the impact of caring, supportive, and motivating teachers on both their personal and professional lives. With the leadership of 12 principals from 1877 to 1969 and the support of parents and community, classroom teachers appeared to be the major force for creating caring and nurturing educational environments in this school setting. Despite being underfunded, understaffed, and issued secondhand books and equipment, as were many other segregated African American schools (Bond, 1969; Dempsey & Noblit, 1993; Franklin, 1978; Walker, 1996), teachers were able to create effective schooling for children attending Trenholm High School (Report, 1955; Trenholm, 1912).

-45-

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