[MenTeach: Groups of men, all over the United States (and other countries), gather to meet to share their common experience working with children. Here are two meetings that happened in the last month. Consider having your own meeting and showing the Frances Carlson’s DVD.]

Last weekend 11 men involved in early education gathered here at the Birth to Three Family Center in Ipswich, Massachusetts. A portion of our day was spent watching and discussing the new DVD “Expect Male Involvement”. As part of the viewing exercise, we took a moment to write our initial reactions to the film.
Kitt Cox

Many times at the Fall Men in Early Childhood meeting in Ipswich last weekend, we talked about men being involved in rough and tumble play. Here is a short piece written by Bryan Nelson and passed on by Kitt Cox you might find of interest and comment on or share with others.
Craig Simpson

Rought & Tumble Play

I am enjoying this conversation about rough and tumble play.

In my university class – I give people recycled paper – tell them to crumple them up. And then have them start throwing it at each other.

At first they are shocked – some look very, very uncomfortable. Then the room just grows more and more excited – it finally shifts even more when one of the students will throw it at me. And we all have fun tossing the paper around.

Afterwards, students talk about what it was like for them. Did it feel uncomfortable? What was play like for them growing up? How would their parent’s respond to this type of play? Grandparents?

It’s a good transition to rough and tumble play that works for most students.

One other thing – it would be good to remember a grandfather of rough and tumble play – Rick Porter. He had been talking about this for years. He developed a video that showed rough and tumble play.

Rough & Tumble Play by Rick Porter

I also remember a movie about kids in the UK using junk in a park and making great wild things to slide with.

One additional note, Frances Carlson is working on a book about Rough & Tumble play
Bryan G. Nelson

Another group of men meet in Florida
Well, sometimes first steps are the smallest.

They gave us billing in the conference program, and a room to meet in.

The room was locked and no one seemed to know what to do, so the four of us decided to meet in the lobby area of the hotel. Too bad for my great Power Point presentation, that I worked so hard on, but it wasn’t meant to be.

We got to know each other and shared some thoughts and ideas. I was glad to see us get beyond comiserating, and talked over where we see the future.

We were a diversified group. One owner/manager of a daycare centers in Palm Beach County, one new EC teacher just moved from Nigeria to Washington DC, one retired army officer who has a business creating handmade manilipulatives, and myself.

One conclusion: Some of the men in EC only consider themselves administrators and not educators, there is a opaque glass wall that is resistant to males in EC, and the best conclusion. Presently, with the economic situation, there is an opportunity to actively recruit males in to EC.

One place to start is with the type of advertising that the colleges and other institutes use. A survey of their media will show a large majority using women as models for their advertisments. This seems to be primarily in the American and other anglo cultures, whereas in other countries men are equally, if not dominating, in representation.

More thoughts to come. I have more conferences that are coming up.

JW Snyder

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