Write your story for a new book

TO: Male Educators

FROM: Dr. Sheldon Woods, Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University
Dr. Lemuel W. Watson, Professor and Dean of Education, Northern Illinois University

DATE: June 5, 2009

DEADLINE: September 15, 2009

SUBJECT: Invitation to contribute a Chapter to a Monograph about Men in the Lives of Children

We are inviting you to contribute a chapter in a monograph that focuses on men in the lives of children. Your story is very important to the field of education and is worth sharing with a broader audience. If you would like to contribute to the monograph, all we would need from you now is a brief biographical outline and a response letting us know if you would like to participate or not. After responses have been gathered, we will send you a more detailed scheduled and timelines for the monograph. We have provided you with the purpose of the monograph and some questions that you would have to address in your chapter. Please feel free to add more or to change your focus in any way that would be beneficial to the reader.

The purpose of this book is to bring the practical challenges of being male and an elementary education teacher in contemporary society to the reader. The stories that are shared are from practicing teachers who work in urban school settings and who are deeply committed to making a difference in the lives of children, their families, and their communities.

As our world and society changes we are faced with the challenges of raising children who must deal with the uncertainties of family and life. Hence, the issue of having children exposed to male role models in their developmental years is important (Stroud et. Al. 2000). Therefore, the challenge of attracting males into early childhood, elementary education, and other fields that deal with young children is a major hurdle to deal with. Our general society has a phobia against men working directly with young children (Galley, 2000). Lack of men in the lives of young children is detrimental to our children's development and their identities. This book will begin to shatter some of the stereotypes of men in the lives of young children and offer some insight to developing program, policies, and services to recruit, retain, and support men in teaching.

Each author will be asked to complete a serious of questions that will tell his story. The questions are:

1.    Why an early childhood or elementary education career? Why Teach? How did you find yourself in your current position?
2.    Did you leave another career to become a teacher?  Is so what was your previous career and why did you leave to become a teacher?
3.    Have you faced any challenges as a male teacher in early childhood/elementary education?
4.    Do you believe being a male teacher adds to the schooling
process with regards children's cognitive development or social development? (Would you address if you believe a male teacher makes a qualitative difference in the cognitive development and social development between boys and girls in the classroom.)
5.    Who were your role models for being a teacher?
6.    What is the best thing about being a male teacher?
7.    How would you encourage other males to become elementary teachers?
8.    What advice would you give to the first year students who want to be an early childhood/elementary teacher?
9.    What is you best teaching technique for managing the classroom?
10.    What tips do you have for working with parents in order to support children's learning?
11.    Please share your most amazing story or about an epiphany as a teacher.

Again, thank you for your time and interests and we look forward to hearing from you soon. Should you accept this invitation, please respond to us by June 20, 2009 with a brief biographical outline and an email letting us know you would like to participate so that we can keep moving the project forward. Your chapter would be due no later than September 15, 2009.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sheldon Woods (cswoods@niu.edu or 815-753-8446) or Dr. Lemuel Watson.

Galley, M., (1992).  Male preschool teachers face skepticism but earn acceptance.  Education Week, 19(20) 1,10.

Stroud, J.C., Smith, L.L., Ealy, L.T, and Hurst, R. (2000).  Choosing to teach: Perceptions of male preservice teachers in early childhood and elementary education.  Early child development and care. 163, 49-60.