The Exchange Leadership Initiative (ELI) launched in November 2014, with the intention to explore strategies for making leadership more visible in the field of Early Care and Education, growing in understanding of the qualities, training, and skills sets that underlie leadership and fulfilling our responsibilities in supporting and developing leaders.
Men providing quality care to children is transformative and I have devoted my life to that revolutionary mission. When men make caring for young children a priority, it revolutionizes how leaders lead and how we treat people. The impact of realigning our policies and resources – how much we pay women and men who care for young children – truly reflects our values and priorities. When a man makes his career choice where primarily women work, he is challenging an economic and gender segregated system; he shifts societal expectations about what roles men and women can perform. Thirty-five years ago, I planted a tree at the center where I taught. It’s grown over 50 feet, offering shade and areas for the children to play. Similarly, MenTeach was planted and has grown to offer support and encouragement to men and women who believe that men make great teachers and are essential to the quality care of children. Working to increase the number of men to care for children has been a rewarding career allowing me to meet amazing people all over the world. When a man works with young children, he plants the idea that children matter, that nurturing and teaching is important enough to devote your life and to help it grow.