Dallas ISD working to get more Hispanic male teachers to better reflect their student body

Dallas ISD is looking to hire a few good men, Hispanic men to be specific.

It’s a new initiative to hire teachers that reflect the heavily Hispanic student body and help provide role models that students may not be getting at home.

Dallas ISD started a similar program last year, recruiting African American male teachers

This new version builds off the same model and success.

"You’re like an uncle to us, and that’s good, you know, because it develops this genuine relationship with students," said Luis Macias, who is a teacher at Trinidad Garza Early College High School.

Macias described the almost familial relationship he has with his students.

As an immigrant from Mexico who grew up in Oak Cliff, he gets the challenges for many who come from his neighborhood.

"We lived in apartments, we lived in garages for most of our lives, and a lot of students can relate to that," he added. 

It’s that kind of intimate knowledge, beyond books and degrees, that DISD is after. 

The district student population is about 70% Hispanic or Latino, but only 30% of teachers are of the same ethnicity, and much fewer are male.

"We are looking for people who have that passion, and you may not have the skills because you have never been a teacher before, right, but we are going to train you on how to do all of that," explained John Vega, deputy chief of human capital management for DISD.

Recruits will get paid from August through December while they’re completing the alternative teacher certification program, and that cost will also be covered by the district.

"We are going to foot the bill for that too, roughly about $5,000, so it’s a sweet deal if you can get in," Vega added.

The district said since many of the Hispanic male teachers already employed teach dual language programs at the elementary level, come January, the new hires will be placed at Dallas high schools.

"The data is there, the research is there, we know that this is what we need," Vega said.

One of Macias’s students, David Cazares, can attest to that. 

"There’s just a lot more we can relate to and they can use a lot of examples in day-to-day life that we can understand better," the 9th grader said.

Click here for more information on the program.