MenTeach E-News
December 2012

1) Foundation pays education expenses to increase male black and Hispanic elementary teachers
2) Why Black/Latino Male Teachers aren’t as Effective in the Classroom…Yet
3) Acclaimed Author: Teaching not just for women
4) London Early Years – Men in Childcare Report
5) Missing: male teachers
6) In The Land Of Women: Being a Man in Early Childhood Education
7) Raising Boys’ Achievement Involves More Male Teachers
8) Scotland lagging in supply of male primary teachers
9) Interview with Education Secretary: U.S. schools seek role models for boys
10) From the front lines to the front of the class

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1) Foundation pays education expenses to increase male black and Hispanic elementary teachers
Joshua Shubert sometimes thinks his third-grade teacher, Wayne Mitchell, is mean. Octavia Shubert, Joshua’s mother, disagrees.

“No, he’s firm,” Shubert says of Mitchell. “And that’s what I like. Especially [for] a young black man with the way the world is today.”

Mitchell, 45, in his fourth year teaching at George Washington Carver Elementary, is a rare commodity in education: a male elementary teacher. Even more rare, Mitchell is a black male elementary teacher.

“They actually need somebody to get them on track and do a little bit more than just educate,” Mitchell said of his students, particularly the boys. “So I sometimes feel more like a father. You need to give them a lot of love.”

The new Jacksonville-based nonprofit organization, Achieve Instill Inspire Foundation, is looking to make teachers like Mitchell less rare across the state. The foundation wants to provide scholarships to black and Latino men who will commit to pursuing degrees and careers in elementary education. Read the article: /node/2080

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2) Why Black/Latino Male Teachers aren’t as Effective in the Classroom…Yet
There’s plenty of discussion about the need for more black/Latino males becoming teachers, capped by a recent discussion by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in which he promoted a program (TEACH) to help improve those numbers. In Jacksonville, FL, for instance, The Achieve Instill Inspire Foundation is looking to encourage more black males as teachers across the state by supplementing their education degrees.

This year, I consider my math classroom an anomaly of sorts. We have not one but two black males teaching 25 or so students mathematics. While it’s true that it’s my only math class (I’m a hybrid math teacher/math coach/data analyst/web designer), it’s also productive because the kids seem to respond in kind. In a CTT (collaborative team teaching) class, we have more room to differentiate for students and plan our day accordingly. Plus, the students get to see two adults in front of them in an academic role. Honestly, that matters.

And it does. To an extent.

Read the entire blog post: /node/2081

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3) Acclaimed South African Author: Teaching not just for women
Acclaimed author, JM Coetzee received an honorary doctorate from Wits University, in The Great Hall on the university campus. Coetzee, a double recipient of the Booker Prize and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, received a Doctor of Literature degree.

Twenty years ago, if I had been standing on this platform addressing new graduates of the University of the Witwatersrand, I would probably have begun by saying: “What a pleasure it is to see so many young women among you. You are certainly beginning to assert your rightful place in the world.”

But today such a message would be out of date. Instead, what I am impelled to say is: “What a relief it is to see so many young men among the graduates in the humanities. What a relief that men have not entirely abandoned a field which they once used to dominate.”

There is a serious point to this observation of mine. It is out of your ranks, the ranks of graduates in the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences, that most teachers of the future are going to be drawn, and I want to argue that it is not a good thing for education to fall too much in the hands of one sex. Read his entire commencement speech: /node/2084

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4) London Early Years – Men in Childcare Report
At London Early Years (LEYF), we have always been proud of our reputation for employing more male practitioners in our nurseries than is normally the case across the sector. We have also been a keen supporter of initiatives promoting the benefits of men in childcare, both in the UK and overseas. So we are particularly excited to be presenting our report “Men in childcare: Does it matter to children? What do they say?” at the first ever London Network for Men in Childcare this evening.

The reason for our research was simple: despite all that had been written about the benefits of of men working in Early Years, little had been done to look at the children’s perspective. We were also keen to examine how the Government’s recently published targets for raising the number of men working in childcare were being met (aiming for 20%, vs. the current level of only 2%). Read the story and the full report: /node/2086

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5) Missing: male teachers
My 11-year-old son Tommy doesn’t particularly like math. He does, however, love his 6th grade math teacher.

One big reason: His math teacher is male.

This teacher is patient, creative and energetic, yes, but so are Tommy’s other teachers, who are all women. Tommy doesn’t worship them like he does his algebra teacher. This is a new experience for him because in all his years of school, Tommy has never had a male teacher in the classroom before. The only male teacher in his entire elementary school, in fact, teaches physical education. My younger son, who is in 4th grade, has never had a man teaching him, either.

To me, this is just sad.

Read her entire blog: /node/2088

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6) In The Land Of Women: Being a Man in Early Childhood Education
About 5 years ago a movie starring Kristen Stewart, Adam Brody, and Meg Ryan came out called “In The Land of Women.” I have only seen a few parts of it while flipping through channels on cable, but the title of the movie has always stuck with me. Five days a week, I wake up and head to my main job as a Pre-K teacher at a non-profit Early Childhood Education Center in Boston where I am the only male out of the 20 or so employees. Read his story: /node/2089

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7) Raising Boys’ Achievement Involves More Male Teachers
It’s no shock to any reader – teacher or parent – to learn that boys are not just falling behind, they’re sinking. In the middle school where I teach, of our nearly 1,100 students, roughly 80% of the special education students are male. More than 2/3 of the students failing classes are male. More than 75% of the discipline problems, again, originate with our young men. Conversely, less than 40% of our gifted students and students in enriched courses are male. Less than 45% of our students enrolling in college are male. I’m certain other schools would find similar (if not larger amounts) of disparity. Read his story & people’s comments: /node/2093

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8) Scotland lagging in supply of male primary teachers
Statistics obtained by The Herald show the proportion of men trained as primary teachers in Scotland has dropped from 14% in 2007/09 to just 13% in 2010/11. In contrast, the numbers trained in England have risen from 18% two years ago to 20% this year. The decline in Scotland comes amid continuing concerns that there are not enough men entering the primary teaching workforce. Experts acknowledge increasing the number of male teachers would help give pupils a more balanced education. Read the entire article: /node/2095

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9) Interview with Education Secretary: U.S. schools seek role models for boys
There is some debate, given that men earn more and hold more positions of power, as to whether boys are really falling behind. Do you think that in the United States the achievement gap between genders is a legitimate concern?

It’s absolutely a legitimate concern. In the United States you have, particularly in the inner cities, far too many young men dropping out, far too many of those who have dropped out end up getting locked up. And life prospects, job prospects are about zero when you’re a high school dropout. So how we engage them, how we keep them interested in school, how we get them to care about their long term futures is hugely important. These are international issues; it’s interesting how similar the problems are and how similar the solutions can be. Read the interview: /node/2097

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10) From the front lines to the front of the class
Administrators are increasingly finding that many servicemembers make good teachers

Stationed for 13 months along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in 2007 and 2008, Brian Thompson had a lot of time to wonder what could come next for him. In charge of a mortar squad with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, Thompson often thought he’d go to law school once his three-and-a-half years were up. Then one day he got a care package from his mother with a paperback copy of “Teacher Man,” the third in a series of memoirs by Angela’s Ashes author Frank McCourt. “You would make a terrific teacher, just like Mr. McCourt,” she wrote inside the book, “especially making kids laugh with that sarcastic humor.” Read the article: /node/2100

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