MenTeach E-News
July 2012

1) An editorial: Male teachers are a rare and special species in Malaysia
2) Resources for falsely accused teachers
3) Men in elementary classrooms in New Hampshire
4) Too few men choose careers in teaching
5) Male Teacher blazes a new trail in China
6) Michigan Man finds satisfaction teaching overseas
7) Men Rush to Sign Up as Primary Teachers
8) Dissertation completed – The perceptions and pressures experienced by male primary elementary teachers…
9) International Conference “Men in Early Childhood Education and Care” in Germany
10) Ready to Teach Program at Howard University

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1) An editorial: Male teachers are a rare and special species in Malaysia
While women teachers are known to multitask in motherly, mentoring ways, there are some things only a man can do, and that’s what makes male teachers extra special. I sometimes think we don’t give our men teachers enough credit. Just because they are outnumbered by women in schools, it does not mean they should be overlooked or forgotten. They matter. In many ways, men do as much as women do for kids at school, perhaps more. 

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2) Resources for falsely accused teachers
One of the occupational hazards of working with children is the possibility of being falsely accused. It was one of three reasons why men don’t stay with or start teaching (see our research). We like to provide resources about ways to prevent or protect against false allegations but what do you do if it does happen? We’ve had several men write us and we’ve seen some men’s career and life destroyed. Here is a website in the United Kingdom of an organization FACTS – Falsely Accused Carers & Teachers that has resources.

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3) Men in elementary classrooms in New Hampshire
When Jerry Parr of Londonderry was 3 years old, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. But when he was in college, he had a moment of doubt. Remembering his own preschool teacher, he worried, “Will I play the piano and sing well enough to engage my students? Will my drawing abilities ever be up to par? Am I creative enough and sensitive enough?” Then he realized the root of his worries. His own teacher, like more than 95 percent of teachers for young children, was a woman. He’d never seen a man doing this sort of work. “Had I just had a male support system, other men doing this, I think it would have been easier. What I did have was a sixth-grade teacher that I used as a role model,” Parr said. “He was 6-foot-4, a big, real masculine kind of a guy, and I’m 6-foot-4, and so it married for me in my brain that big guys could do this, too.”

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4) Too few men choose careers in teaching
Children benefit from having role models from both genders. That’s why, several years ago, the United States joined the many nations that launched campaigns to convince more men to become public school teachers. The effort was needed. In 2008, according to the National Education Association, the percentage of men in teaching hit a 40-year low of 25 percent and stayed there. That percentage, Monitor education reporter Sarah Palermo found, is even lower in New Hampshire. Just 22 percent of the state’s teachers are men. The great majority of them are high school teachers. While only 3.7 percent of preschool teachers are men and 15 percent of elementary and middle school teachers are male, men make up 38 percent of all high school teachers.

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5) Male Teacher blazes a new trail in China
Children in the brand new Haoertong Kindergarten like to boast to their peers at other kindergartens: “Our principal is a handsome uncle.” Zhu Jun, the first male graduate of preschool education studies in Shanghai, is now the city’s first male kindergarten principal with a professional educational background. After seven years of teaching in kindergartens, Zhu, 29, continues to bring vigor to the kindergarten that is otherwise staffed by women.

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6) Michigan Man finds satisfaction teaching overseas
Kevin Hodges has a career that, quite literally, could take him around the world before he’s done. “It’s unbelievable,” said Hodges, a 1983 Battle Creek Central High grad who waded through his share of uncertainty and frustration before settling on a job that, at least in the United States, is beset by instability and layoffs. His teaching adventure first took him to China, where he taught English for a year. Then for the last two years he’s taught history in Colombia and is preparing for his third year there. After that, he hopes to teach in Brazil, or maybe Africa, or wherever the need for English-speaking teachers is in the highest demand. And they are in demand. Countries around the world are paying a lot of money to bring teachers from the United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and elsewhere to teach their kids. And Hodges is one of them. “It’s such an excellent opportunity,” he said. Ten years ago, teaching was not something he really considered, though he did admit the thought always lingered someplace in the back of his mind.

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7) Men Rush to Sign Up as Primary Teachers
The number of men training to be primary school teachers has increased by more than 50 per cent over the past four years in England, new figures reveal. The growth rate is five times that for women, according to data from the Teaching Agency. Interim chief executive Lin Hinnigan said: “Primary teaching is increasingly a career for the most able graduates. “It offers the opportunity to earn a good salary and progress quickly.” Teachers are twice as likely to win promotion after three-and-a-half years than graduates in comparable professions, according to the TA.

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8) Dissertation completed – The perceptions and pressures experienced by male primary elementary teachers…
[MenTeach: There is more and more research being completed about men teachers. Here’s one e-mail from a principal who completed his doctoral work.]
I just wanted to update you. Last December I completed my doctoral work. I had written you a few years ago regarding it. I found your organization and website to be a great resource. Below is a link to my dissertation on the pressures and perceptions surrounding male teachers. Again thank you and keep up the good work.

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9) International Conference “Men in Early Childhood Education and Care” in Germany
The International Conference “Men in Early Childhood Education and Care” on the 27th and 28th of September 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

The Coordination Centre “Men in early childhood education” and the Faculty of Primary Education of the Humboldt University Berlin invites you to attend the international conference “Men in Early Childhood Education and Care: Strategies, experiences and perspectives”. The conference will be held on September 27/28th 2012 in Berlin and will be supported by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Be certain to read some of the Expert Interviews and see who is presenting.

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10) Ready to Teach Program at Howard University
There are more and more programs to recruit men to teach. The Howard University Ready to Teach (RtT) Program is a national consortium created in collaboration with Chicago Public Schools (Illinois), Clayton County Public Schools (Georgia), Prince George’s County Public Schools (Maryland), Howard University Charter Middle School for Mathematics and Science (Washington, DC), and the Northwest Preparatory Academy (Houston, Texas). The RtT I program increased the number of teachers from underrepresented populations in high-need content areas and high need local education agencies (LEAs). RtT program provided 69 participants the opportunity to pursue their teaching license in high-need subject areas (specifically English, Mathematics, Science, Special Education and Elementary Education). Currently, the RtT program has recruited 33 teacher candidates with a target focus on African-American males to an alternate route to teacher certification.

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