About Us

MenTeach is a non-profit clearinghouse for both men and women seeking information and resources about men teaching.

If you are a man thinking about teaching or currently teaching you’ve found a place to connect with others who share your vision for children and society. If you are a researcher, university or college student or faculty, a legislator or from the media, you’ll find information to answer your questions.

MenTeach is about children’s success. We want a diverse workforce, both men and women teachers, educating and caring for our children.

MenTeach was started in 1979 in Minnesota, United States to increase the number of men working with young children. The organization was started because Bryan G. Nelson understood the importance of teaching and wondered, “If teaching is so important, then where are all the men?”

He began by developing a brochure, Real Men, Real Teachers (See the online version). He was joined by Bruce Sheppard and other men (and backed by supportive women) to offer a workshop at a state professional conference to find more men (and women) who believed that it is important to have men teachers. Over twenty people attended and from that meeting they began developing more activities.

One of the first activities was a weekend retreat in rural Minnesota. Each year the group organized a winter and summer campout where men would gather

to talk about teaching children, sing songs, exchange ideas about developmentally appropriate practices and of course, play games and sports. You can read more about the yearly retreat in this pdf file: MenTeach Retreat.
From those first retreats several projects developed. The book, the first of its kind, Men in Child Care & Elementary Education: A Handbook for Educators and Administrators was developed, it is an anthology of articles about men and the different issues they must face – teachers, administrators, principals and university faculty. Another project was a book about fathers, Working with Fathers: Methods & Perspectives. And other activities developed from the friendships that developed.

Over the years MenTeach and its members have presented at state and national conferences, high schools and universities about the importance of men teaching. MenTeach is quoted extensively in national media.

Our research report, The Importance of Men Teachers: And Why There Are So Few is the largest of its kind and offers interesting information about the education field and has been cited all over the world. MenTeach continues to work with a network of men and women throughout the world on recruiting and retaining men working with children.