MenTeach E-News - September 2013

MenTeach E-News
September 2013

1) More male elementary school teachers
2) Spike Lee: We need options other than sports, rap and the corner
3) Minority male teacher shortage prompts legislation that aims to boost their numbers
4) The End of the Male Teacher: Seniority Rules
5) To Recruit More Black Male Teachers, Retain Those You Have
6) The U.S. Teach Campaign to recruit more male teachers
7) China trains male preschool teachers
8) Real Men or Real Teachers Author Paul Sargent died
9) Being a male elementary school teacher
10) Hiring in Kansas - Teachers & Elementary Counselor

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1) More male elementary school teachers
It's story time in Christopher Becker's kindergarten classroom.

Becker says having a man teach kindergarten is no tall tale.

"They usually assume they're going to get a female teacher until fourth or fifth grade. Whether it's kindergarten or fifth grade, I think males in that role are extremely important. You don't see a whole lot of them,” said Becker.

The Green Bay Area Public School District says last school year it had 899 elementary school teachers. 86 of whom were male.

FOX 11 called around to other districts. Most say on average, men also make up ten percent of their elementary teachers.

Becker says though he's one of the few male kindergarten teachers in the area, it's a needed presence in many children's lives." Watch the video: http://www.menteach.org/node/2262

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2) Spike Lee: We need options other than sports, rap and the corner
I just attended the U.S. Department of Education town hall meeting at Morehouse College featuring Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Congressman John Lewis, filmmaker and Morehouse graduate Spike Lee, Morehouse President Robert Michael Franklin, New Schools of Carver science teacher Christopher Watson, MSNBC contributor Jeff Johnson and Jonesboro’s Mundy’s Mill Middle School principal Derrick Dalton.

The point of the session – which was loaded with inspirational moments, including Lee recognizing two Morehouse professors in the front row for their role in his success –  was to encourage black students to consider teaching.

The program opened with a personal, taped message to the Morehouse students from President Obama about the importance of increasing the pool of quality teachers. The stage backdrop was an Obama quote: “If you want to make a difference in the life of a child, become a teacher.”

Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2265

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3) Men in the classroom: Back to the basics of primary
When Henry Yahn originally wanted to go into teaching, he wanted to teach high school physical education.

That’s a long way from where he is today – where he’s having not only lots of fun, but also where he’s finding lots of satisfaction.

Yahn teaches Grade 1.

“It’s neat to take them through (the transition),” said Yahn, noting Grade 1 is a time when youngsters, who enjoyed the play-based kindergarten program, encounter a new reality. They learn to sit and focus for longer periods, do sheets of work, and master the basics of reading and math.

“(They go) from not reading at all and just start to bloom. There’s a huge academic growth. It’s rewarding and it’s challenging.” Read the full story: http://www.menteach.org/node/2247

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4) The End of the Male Teacher: Seniority Rules
More lucrative occupations, cutbacks in salaries, fear of harassment charges, and possible parent bias against them are driving men from the K-12 teaching field. But the unseen culprit in this demise could be seniority.

As men retire or leave the profession their replacements may well be female elementary school teachers who have maintained their secondary level certification, or – seeing the handwriting on the wall – upgraded their qualifications to teach at the high school level. In most cases this can be done with college methodology classes and completing courses for a major in an academic area if they do not already have one.

In the primary and elementary levels there has always been a shortage of male educators. In Illinois, fewer than one in four teachers from K -12 are men and this is declining, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Read the story: http://www.menteach.org/node/2268

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5) To Recruit More Black Male Teachers, Retain Those You Have
New research sponsored by the National Academy of Education seeks a deeper understanding of  why there are so few black male teachers in U.S. public schools.

The backdrop for the work by Travis Bristol of Teachers College, Columbia University and Ron Ferguson of the Harvard Achievement Gap Initiative is the startling fact that black males, who are six percent of the U.S. population, makeup less than two percent of the nation’s public school teachers.

In LA Unified, the numbers are slightly above the national average. Here, black male teachers accounted for 2.9 percent of all teachers in the 2012-13 school year, a total of 743, according to district data. With 31,320 black male students, that’s a ratio of 42 to 1, compared with the ratio of white male students to white male teachers of 9 to 1.

Noting the efforts of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his department’s “Black Men to the Blackboard” recruitment campaign begun in 2011, Bristol and Ferguson hypothesize that this dearth of black male teachers, especially in urban areas, is as much an issue of retainment as recruitment. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2270

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6) The U.S. Teach Campaign to recruit more male teachers
The Federal Teach campaign was designed to get more minorities, especially men into teaching.  An estimated 1 million teachers will retire in the coming decade, and that means there will be a lot of positions to fill.

Education leaders want to fill some of the openings with a more diverse workforce. Christopher Drake has been teaching at Robert Cross Elementary for 18 years.

He says it's not uncommon for him to be the only male academic teacher in the building. And to stop that trend, education should be an option proposed to kids at an early age.

There are a lot of rewards that come from working in a classroom. "The energy that I get from the students. I can see it on their faces that I'm making a difference. I can see it when I grade their papers," said Drake. Read the article to find out about the federal TEACH program: http://www.menteach.org/node/2272

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7) China trains male preschool teachers
Education authorities in south China are training male preschool teachers to provide suitable male role models in kindergartens, traditionally dominated by female teachers.

Yang Linyun is among 100 male students who were recruited and subsidized by the government in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to be trained as preschool teachers.

Before going to work in Guangxi's kindergartens in two years time, Yang and his fellow male freshmen stood in huge contrast to a number of girls on enrolment day at Guangxi College for Preschool Education in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, earlier this month.

Yang applied for the course because he thinks he has strong communication skills, is great with kids, and most of all, it will not cost him anything as all his expenses are covered by the Guangxi regional government. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2274

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8) Real Men or Real Teachers Author Paul Sargent died
Paul Sargent died in February 2013. He wrote the significantly useful book: Real Men or Real Teachers. We truly appreciated his unique perspective about our work from a sociologist's perspective. Read about his work and teaching: http://www.menteach.org/node/2277

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9) Being a male elementary school teacher
It’s an email from a Temecula school librarian that gets me thinking about what a rare breed I am.

I’m a male elementary school teacher. While exact numbers are hard to come by in the state or nationally, in searching the web, men seem to represent about 10 percent of elementary school teachers.

Locally, in Lake Elsinore, we are 37 out of 375 elementary teachers. In Temecula, we are 52 out of 419. In Murrieta, where I work, we are 35 out of 356 teachers.

At Rail Ranch Elementary where I teach, Greg Lumsden and I are the only male teachers. I’ve worked with others in my 15-year career, including Brian Youens, Jack Mitchell, Tom Patane, Matthew Owens, Kevin Nickoloff, Neal Hall, Steve Savage and Gary Zajac. So we really do exist.

There are various explanations for the shortage of male teachers, according to MenTeach, a nonprofit that promotes us. There is the low status, the pay, the perception it’s a woman’s job and the elephant in the room — the allegations of sexual abuse of children. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2279

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10) Hiring in Kansas - Teachers & Elementary Counselor
We are looking for positive male role models to fit some of these positions.  Will you please post this job description in your newsletter?  To apply the candidate must visit our website. Raquel Ayala. Read about that and other jobs: http://www.menteach.org/node/2278

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