MenTeach E-News - May 2020

MenTeach E-News
May 2020

MenTeach: COVID-19 has changed the way we interact, especially as teachers. How are you coping with the changes? Is your center or program still open? Send us an e-mail so we can share what is happening throughout the world.

1) Editorial: A Male Teaching in a Pandemic
2) Dundee Scotland equalities champion: More men should work in nurseries
3) Indiana Early education could soon be facing a major teacher shortfall
4) Teaching, Preaching: DeKalb Educator Raps For Student Enrichment
5) 'From Oprah to Ellen': Call Me MISTER celebrates 20 years of fostering Black male teachers
6) Kenya: Ensure gender balance in teacher training colleges to attain equity
7) TODAY Show surprises Georgia's first black male Pre-K Teacher of the Year with huge donation
8) Chinese male teachers face kindergarten conundrum
9) Compton Male Teachers of Color Network (CMToCN) May Virtual Summit
10) How Male Teachers Can Empower Female Students

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1) Editorial: A Male Teaching in a Pandemic
I teach because of the relationships formed with my students. I enjoy the curriculum and the data part of the job, but the relationships formed with the students is why I do it. I like kids. Distance learning has changed my daily routine and that's frustrating. But overall, day by day we'll get through this and we'll be back face to face strengthening those relationships again.

My School
I work at St. Croix Falls Elementary School in northwest Wisconsin. We're a high achieving school and consistently score in the significantly exceeds expectations for learning on the state report card. We grow kids very efficiently. Our principal, Rita Platt is an educational guru. She's like a combination of Mr. Rogers and Ms. Frizzle from the magic school bus. She sets goals and expectations that most schools would say are impossible. But she gets us to do it and have fun doing it. I teach the third grade and there's 4 sections total. Our elementary school is not 1:1 with devices. Our middle school and high school are so they're using online platforms like Google Hangout and Zoom to conduct virtual learning classrooms. The elementary school I work at doesn't have that option. Instead, we created distance learning packets. It makes it difficult not having the technology of 1:1 because we cannot assign homework or assessments through any websites or apps. So, we have a plethora of apps for learning that we offer but it's all encouraged and free will options. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/3525

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2) Dundee Scotland equalities champion: More men should work in nurseries
Councillor Lynne Short has called on council officers to ramp up efforts to recruit a greater number of men into the city’s nurseries.

Official figures from the Scottish Social Services Council, which manages Scotland’s early years workforce, shows just 2% of it is male.

The rates vary from as much as 8% of creche staff being male to as little as 1% working in playgroups.

Ms Short, who brought up her 18-year-old son Max solo, believes youngsters could be missing out on necessary male influences as a result.

“Can you imagine the reaction you’d get if it was women making up 2% of the workforce?” Ms Short said.

“My son is 18 now and for that whole time it’s only been him and I. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3521

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3) Indiana Early education could soon be facing a major teacher shortfall
To combat that, two local nonprofits — Early Learning Indiana and the Educate Me foundation — are partnering to get more minority men in classrooms in Indianapolis. The organizations are offering fellowships to make it happen. Application are being accepted. It’s a pilot program but the minority men selected will be put through training before shadowing in the classroom.

Zacharay Ferguson is a giant next to his preschool students, but somehow he can come down to their size. They call him Mr. Zack.

“Being able to do that is a joy and hopefully they can just take what they soak in and keep moving forward,” said Ferguson, an early education teacher at the Day Early Learning Center. “I like working with these kids because they are still a sponge. And I just want to encourage some good habits respectful habits,”

Nonprofits Early Learning Indiana and Educate Me are partnering to get more minority men like Ferguson into early education classrooms. Read the article and watch the interview: http://menteach.org/node/3523

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4) Teaching, Preaching: DeKalb Educator Raps For Student Enrichment
Maurice McDavid raps to teach and connect with his students. McDavid is an Assistant Principal at Cortland Elementary School near DeKalb.

McDavid says writing has always been a way for him to express himself, and that he's been rapping for as long as he can remember. He says he creates raps for his students about everything from proper bus etiquette to knowing when to keep their hands to themselves.

McDavid draws on his experience as an Assistant Pastor at the United Pentecostal Church of DeKalb to help him with his rapping. He says preaching has a similar musicality.

"If you ever get a chance to go on YouTube and google search 'Pentecostal preaching,' you'll find, often times, that there's a rhythmic element to it," he says. Read the story & watch the video: http://www.menteach.org/node/3526

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5) 'From Oprah to Ellen': Call Me MISTER celebrates 20 years of fostering Black male teachers
In April 2001, former Clemson University and NFL football player Jeff Davis sat on a soundstage in Chicago across from talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Davis was on Winfrey's widely popular daytime talk show to receive the "Use Your LIfe" award for his involvement in the Call Me Mister program, an initiative aimed at increasing the number of black male teachers in South Carolina.

Hayward Jean was one of five Misters who sat in the front row of the audience, watching his mentor receive the award.

Jean remembers the moment Oprah turned to them, microphone in hand, asking if anyone wanted to say something. Jean couldn't make his mouth move, he'd always been terrified of public speaking.

"And then my friend next to me, Mark Joseph, responded ..."

Joseph didn't plan on speaking, but he felt as if he was being nudged in the back, a subtle voice telling him to seize the opportunity.

For a few minutes, Joseph explained why the young group of men were there. Not there at the "Oprah Winfrey Show," but there as Misters and future educators.

"This Call Me Mister experience was about purpose. It was about something bigger than just an individual situation or journey. This is much greater… It's not just about you, it's about what you're going to do with what you have, to be able to give back and prepare the next generation," Joseph remembered of his speech.

It was a lesson the Misters who were there that day have remembered — one they've carried through to the dozens of classrooms and to the thousands of South Carolina students they've taught over the years. Read article & watch video: http://www.menteach.org/node/3528

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6) Kenya: Ensure gender balance in teacher training colleges to attain equity
In the past 10 years, there has been a downward trend in enrolment of male candidates to teacher training colleges at the primary school level. I've heard from a number of principals that, in some colleges, female students comprise two-thirds to three-quarters of the total number.

Should the trend continue, we will have boys in primary school almost exclusively taught by female teachers. They will have no male role models in their formative years. This state of affairs is worrying and calls for a solution by the relevant government departments.

But economic trends over the past two decades point to alternatives for the male gender that are more exciting and faster in bringing in returns. The boda boda, construction and M-Pesa businesses stand out. Read the editorial: http://menteach.org/node/3533

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7) TODAY Show surprises Georgia's first black male Pre-K Teacher of the Year with huge donation
He was named Georgia's Pre-K Teacher of the Year last fall and was recognized as the first black man to get this honor.

Johnathon Hines, a pre-K instructor at Barack Obama Elementary School in Atlanta, got another surprise on the TODAY Show on Monday.

This week TODAY is kicking off a special series called TODAY Loves Teachers, honoring teachers who have gone beyond the call of duty due to the cornavirus pandemic.

Hines has been working so hard to stay connected, he said, even personally delivering work to the students' homes.

"We definitely built a culture in our class room of love. Keep learning never stop learning. I want them all to be ready for Kindergarten," Hines said on the show.

TODAY Show host Savannah Guthrie help connected the beloved teacher with his students, even allowing Hines to show off how smart the children are - on national television.
Read the article and watch the show: http://menteach.org/node/3535

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8) Chinese male teachers face kindergarten conundrum
When Yu Zehong started teaching at a kindergarten in Beijing in 2018, some parents asked to transfer their children to other classes.

The parents did not have a good impression of male teachers. Some were worried because of news reports about male staff members sexually assaulting children, while others thought a man would be too strict with the young students, Yu said.

"They did not know what they would get from a male teacher, because there are so few of us," the 24-year-old said, noting that only two of the 30 teachers at the kindergarten are men.

"However, I have spent two years with the children at the kindergarten, and most of the parents have told me they would not trust anyone else to take care of their kids. Some students in my class would be devastated if I were sick and absent for several days."

Male kindergarten teachers are important for children's early education, he said: "Our voices, gestures and, most of all, our way of thinking are different from female teachers. While women are considered careful in looking after the kids, male teachers can be more creative and energetic." Read the story: http://menteach.org/node/3537

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9) Compton Male Teachers of Color Network (CMToCN) May Virtual Summit
Compton Male Teachers of Color Network (CMToCN) May Virtual Summit.

This will be our 2nd annual end-of-year meeting to share the excellent progress of our district-wide project.

The CMToCN is a unique approach to building a profesional learning community that provides social emotional support and profesional development to male teachers and administrators
of color in an urban school district in South Los Angeles.

Join us Saturday, May, 23rd, 2020 for a conversation and break-out sessions regarding promising practices for supporting male teachers and administrators of color.

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10) How Male Teachers Can Empower Female Students
Glass ceilings are still aplenty in the workplace in 2020 USA. Some speculate that some young women are so affected by a systemic gender bias that favors men in school settings that they subconsciously play into it when they get to the adult workplace. Further, many homes are also very patriarchal, and that may be all a girl is familiar with until she sets foot in a classroom.

Empowering girls starting with their first exposure in the education system is an important step to decreasing gender biases and empowering females to have the same opportunities for success as their male counterparts.

These strategies should not be solely for female teachers, and, in fact, a good way to affect those girls who are used to a patriarch is to start by saying:

I’m a man and I’m no differing nor more capable than any of your female teachers, no matter what you may have been told at home.

Here are some other tips on how you can help empower your female students.

Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3543

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