My Why - Glenn Jenkins: For our Ancestors and our Children

Image of Glenn Jenkins 4th/5th grade teacher Dick Scobee Elementary School Auburn School District

Glenn Jenkins, 4th/5th grade teacher, Dick Scobee Elementary School, Auburn School District

Raising the bar for inclusive, culturally responsive teaching

Glenn Jenkins made the switch from telecommunications engineer to teacher in his early 40s, when he and his wife were about to have their first child. 

“I realized that if I sent my son to school, he wouldn’t have any teachers who looked like him.”

Glenn had an entirely different experience growing up in the Detroit area. Almost all of his teachers were Black, until high school, when he was bussed to a white neighborhood as districts in Michigan worked to desegregate schools. He attributes much of the success in engineering and other jobs he’s had over the years.

“My teachers said there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. I try to inspire that same belief in my students.”

Glenn represents his West African ancestry by wearing brightly colored dashikis every day. In everything he teaches, he goes out of his way to highlight the contributions that people of a wide variety of races, ethnicities, and cultures have made to advancements in knowledge.

“Culturally responsive teaching is about recognizing all cultures represented in your classrooms in positive ways. It makes kids feel seen.”

Outside the classroom, Glenn has become a leading advocate for diversifying Washington’s teaching workforce and requiring anti-racism training for all teachers. He’s involved with Recruiting Washington Teachers, a high school teacher academy program that gives students of color a comprehensive, hands-on introduction to the teaching profession.

Learn more Glenn Jenkins' career-changing pathway to education

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