Tyrone Moore Jr. ’20 didn’t have his first Black teacher until his high school Spanish class. Through their similar backgrounds, Moore created a relationship that impacted him for life.
“I felt like she was my mom away from home,” he says, who before then, had only been taught by white teachers. And even until this day, Moore — an Alverno graduate education student — has yet to have a Black male teacher.
Moore is not the only Black person, or person of color, dealing with this issue. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2017, 79 percent of America’s public school teachers were white, teaching a much more diverse student population. Black men account for just 2 percent of the nation’s teachers.
Charter school teachers are more diverse — 68% of these educators are white — but both public and charter school teachers are about 76% female.
Moore always wanted to be a positive role model for youth, and for him that meant taking the path of a teacher. “Teachers are dope. Teachers like me, we really care about students. We love our students,” he says.
Moore began his teaching career at Milwaukee Excellence Charter School. He is now a math teacher at Milwaukee Academy of Science. He seeks to educate his students while also focusing on building relationships with them. “The biggest thing is being yourself. They vibe off your energy,” Moore says. “This is me. This is my classroom. I’m going to make it personable. I want to build a classroom where we are all family.”
Moore is also a student himself. He’s a member of the Teach for America corps and has completed his master’s degree at Alverno. Moore credits his professors Desiree Pointer Mace and Ronett Jacobs ’98 for making his experience “10 times better.” According to Moore, these two women have showed him love and a caring heart since his first day.
“Earning a master’s degree will allow me to motivate and inspire my family. I’ll be the first to earn a master’s degree in my family,” he says. “I hope to inspire my students as well as show my students that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”
Along with teaching his students math, Moore wants to instill in his students that they can be multiple things at once. Back in 2013, Moore began his fitness career while attaining his bachelor’s degree. He graduated in 2017 and since then has been running his own business, MooreFitness. Next year, he plans to open his first gym.
“I want them to see different things. They don’t know what’s outside of Milwaukee,” he says. “I just want to be the light.”
Moore is a man of many traits and skills, one of which is being a great teacher for his students.“My students mean the world to me. I work hard to supply high-quality lessons with contagious energy. I work even harder to create everlasting relationships with my students,” Moore says. “I love that I get a chance to be a positive role model for each and every student. My job isn’t easy, but being on the front line to help change lives is rewarding. I feel like a superhero.”
This article appears in the fall/winter 2020 issue of Alverno Magazine.