MenTeach E-News - March 2017

MenTeach E-News
March 2016

1) Southern University to increase underrepresented male teachers
2) Caring for Black Male Students Requires More Than Good Intentions, According to Education Study
3) Male teacher adds ties to school's male achievement lessons
4) Japan: Should male childcare workers' roles be limited?
5) How storytelling is giving voice to a small part of the early childhood workforce — men
6) An all-male Buffalo Public School to address differences in learning? It's being considered
7) Trinidad and Tobago: No men to teach
8) Teach for America Struggles to Attract Male Teachers
9) Photos from the MenTeach - New England Symposium
10) Editorial: Dreams Becoming Reality - A Career for A Man

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1) Southern University to increase underrepresented male teachers
Southern University is among several southern states and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) partnering with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) to increase the number of underrepresented male teachers. SHEEO was recently awarded a three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to fund Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs (Project PR). The project will engage state policy leaders, educator preparation programs at HBCUs, and partner schools to achieve goals and objectives of the $1.5 million award. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3070  

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2) Caring for Black Male Students Requires More Than Good Intentions, According to Education Study
Earlier this year, a video of English teacher Barry White Jr.'s unique handshakes with each of his students went viral. In the video, White, who is black, greeted each of his students at the predominately black elementary school with elaborate high-fives that he said were based around each student's personality and helped him connect with each child.

Connecting with students isn't just about producing good feelings. Research has shown that teachers' relationships with students affect educational outcomes. Yet relationships between K-12 teachers, who are predominately white and female, and their black male students are in need of improvement. It's a concern because black male students' educational success still lags behind other groups. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3071

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3) Male teacher adds ties to school's male achievement lessons
For more than 20 years students put on their best suits for "Male Leadership Day" at Murrell Dobbins CTE High School. Year after year, since Commercial and Advertising arts teacher Troy Stratton has been around, students struggled to tie their ties. Some students did not have a tie at all.

"We're talking about 200 — 300 young men who don't have ties," Stratton said in an interview.

Stratton decided two years ago to do something to help his students, and "Knot Me" was born.

The teacher first decided to collect ties to give to the students. He posted a request on social media for donors to send ties to the school. Family members, friends and even strangers began to share his call for ties and the next thing he knew, hundreds of donations were coming in.

"The first year we collected 500 ties that came all over the country, some as far as Washington state," Stratton said. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3074 

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4) Japan: Should male childcare workers' roles be limited?
The Yomiuri Shimbun Controversy has arisen over whether male childcare workers at nursery facilities should be in charge of changing the clothes or diapers of girls. The context for this is concern from parents and guardians that such circumstances could lead to the sexual abuse of children. However, there is a shortage of childcare workers, and both male and female childcare workers are expected to play active roles at nursery facilities. We asked a child welfare expert, a parent and childcare provider for their thoughts on the matter. Read the interesting discussion: http://www.menteach.org/node/3076

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5) How storytelling is giving voice to a small part of the early childhood workforce — men
In their own words, the men described the journeys that led them to work in the early childhood field — as teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators.

One, a software salesman, helped his wife with a nannying job then decided to go back to school for an early childhood degree. Another discovered his passion for young children after visiting a friend's Montessori school in Beijing. A third dreamed of being an actor, but switched gears after a volunteer stint at a campus child care center during college.

The stories are part of a new digital storytelling project focused on a tiny and often overlooked segment of the nation's early childhood workforce: men. The idea is to provide inspiration in a field known for its low pay and high turnover — and create a support system of sorts to combat the isolation that can come from being the only man on the job.

"Depending on your personality, it can be kind of daunting, said Soren Gall, the former preschool teacher who spearheaded the project. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3079

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6) An all-male Buffalo Public School to address differences in learning? It's being considered
Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash was clearly surprised the discussions were far enough along to be brought to the board as part of a briefing on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching. That is according to Assistant Superintendent Fatima Morrell, who is working in that much larger field.

She said more black males would benefit academically from more culturally sensitive course work as boys associate differently and learn differently. Morrell cited the state My Brother's Keeper grant that originated in the Obama Administration as the source of this particular push.

"It focuses on males of color," she said. "There was the federal legislation under prior President Obama said here's some money to do some unique and different deals to create innovative programs for males of color, to let's move them up to give them a second chance in life and education." Listen to the audio: http://menteach.org/node/3083

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7) Trinidad and Tobago: No men to teach
It is becoming more and more difficult to attract young males to the teaching profession, says Principal of St Mary's College, Fr Ronald Mendez.

Mendez told the media yesterday at a press conference to launch the Sesquicentennial Anniversary Celebrations of the Arrival of the Holy Ghost Fathers and the Founding of St Mary's College.

The launch took place at the Archbishop Residence in Port-of-Spain when Fr Mendez noted that, "we are finding fewer, and fewer qualified males. This is somewhat of an indictment."

Catholic males go on to universities, he said, and seem to move on to other types of jobs, and occupations, but not teaching.

The male who may be qualified and lives in a competitive society like Trinidad and Tobago, he said, will not go into teaching. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3085

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8) Teach for America Struggles to Attract Male Teachers
Teach for America is typically flooded with job applicants from top colleges and universities, but according to Chanté Chambers, the managing director of recruitment at historically black colleges and universities at the New York City-based Teach For America, the high-profile teaching nonprofit isn't flooded by male applicants. She says that low status of education is "definitely a barrier," especially among African American men.

Nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Teach for America difficulty reflects the overall problems of men in the teaching profession, particularly in the lower grades. The BLS reports that the percentage of male teachers has fallen from 19.1 percent to 18.3 percent between 2007 and 2011 for elementary and middle school teachers, and from 2.7 to 2.3 percent for preschool and kindergarten teachers.

Is it really the status and image of teaching or something else? Some suggest that it is the continuing sexism in the U.S. that causes society to look down on men who work with young children. TFA's Chambers gives another explanation, arguing that African American men face "pressure to be that breadwinner, to have financial stability…to make six figures so they can give back to their communities in a meaningful way." According to Bryan Nelson, the executive director of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit, MenTeach, "If we started paying elementary teachers $150,000 a year, we'd see a massive influx of male teachers, but if it were just money, the proportion [of male teachers] would be the same in secondary and elementary schools, and that's not the case."  Read this older (but still relevant) article from 2012: http://menteach.org/node/3092

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9) Photos from the MenTeach - New England Reception
We have given this year's Steve Shuman award to Jeff Robbins at the MassAEYC Rex excellence in early education reception at the MassAEYC Annual conference. Valora Washington received the Gwen Morgan award.

The Commissioner of the Early Education and Care department of Massachusetts attended and honored the recipients. At our annual meeting, we were fortunate to be joined by Tom Weber, the newly appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. He has a broad background in state and federal politics, as well as experience serving as the Legislative Director at Strategies for Children. See the photos: http://www.menteach.org/node/3089

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10) Editorial: Dreams Becoming Reality - A Career for A Man
[MenTeach - Dylan is part of the UW - Stout Men's Teachers Club]. Growing up, teaching never jumped out to me. I never noticed it as a career opportunity or the career I would end up pursuing. Instead, I always thought on a bigger scale such as sports broadcasting or becoming a sports journalist. However, through many personal experiences and self-reflection, I eventually saw teaching as an ideal fit.

Teaching is not meant for all. A successful teacher is a person who can lead, someone who is confident, optimistic, and shows compassion. As a young student, I went through many phases and adversities that has led me to the present. As early as the beginning of preschool and kindergarten, I loved getting to know new people and the daily routine at school. However, I often neglected my homework and used many tactics to avoid assignments at all costs. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/3081

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