MenTeach E-News
November 2012

1) Male elementary school teachers in New England
2) Where men make up 97% of the teachers?
3) Men in Early Childhood – Colorado
4) More Male Teachers in Chinese Kindergarten
5) Why I became a teacher: I changed career to do something memorable
6) Increase in male trainee teachers in United Kingdom
7) Could more men in childcare have a real and lasting effect on the inherent prejudices of society?
8) With Perks And Privileges, Tajikistan Seeks To Draw Male Teachers Back To Schools
9) Men in the teaching profession in Georgia
10) Men needed more in childcare say women

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1) Male elementary school teachers in New England
Michael O’Dell didn’t have a male teacher until the seventh grade. He’s making sure his students can’t say the same thing.

O’Dell, 40, began his career as a teacher Tuesday, hired over the summer as a new fourth-grade teacher at Bicentennial Elementary School in Nashua. As a male elementary school teacher, O’Dell knew coming in he’d be in the minority, but that’s precisely one of the reasons he wanted to work with younger children.

“It would have been helpful if I had other male adult role models in those years,” O’Dell said. “It changes the dynamic for the kids to have that, so I think I could have a big impact there.” Read the article: /node/2056

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2) Where men make up 97% of the teachers?
How about Liberia, Africa.

After getting back from the International Conference about men in early education in Berlin, Germany and reconnecting with my friend from Turkey, Ramazan Sak (you can read his interview here), I’ve been thinking about places in the world where the majority of teachers of children are men. That’s when I was reading an article that mentioned the disparity:

“The male-female disparity extends to teaching staffs. Only three percent of the nation’s high school teachers are women, according to the Education Ministry.”
/node/2058

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3) Men in Early Childhood – Colorado
On October 23rd, 2012, MEC held their first music event in collaboration with Clayton Early Learning. In attendance were Clayton Head Start students along with their fathers.

With a total of 13 participants, children and fathers experienced three different stations. In Station 1 event goers constructed instruments using a variety of materials, Station 2 participants explored a variety of musical instruments, and in Station 3 participants were able to dance to different musical selections. A concert performed by members of Men in Early Childhood-Colorado ended the event.  Fathers and their Clayton students all enjoyed MEC’s first music event. See photos and read the entire report: /node/2063

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4) More Male Teachers in Chinese Kindergarten
When we think of kindergarten teachers, the first image that pops into our heads is usually of tender, versatile women. But nowadays more male teachers are willing to work in kindergartens and doing a great job. Still, many schools say it’s difficult to retain male kindergarten teachers because of low salaries and inadequate employee benefits. Zhang Wan takes a closer look.

Many kindergarten children in Nanjing city say they prefer to be taught by male teachers rather than female ones. Read or listen to the story: /node/2065

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5) Why I became a teacher: I changed career to do something memorable
I did psychology at Birmingham University, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My final year project was on dyslexia and I really enjoyed the time I spent in classrooms working on this but at that point I didn’t think of teaching. When I left university I spent seven years working at John Lewis partnership. I spent much of my time there writing the partners’ newsletter. My managing director was a lovely chap who realised I wasn’t doing what I wanted to and he helped me get a job at the Surrey Advertiser and later I went to work in copywriting for a recruitment advertiser in London.

So I had this writing background, but started to think I wanted to do something more worthwhile. At the end of the day, any advertising is peddling other people’s wishes and eventually this started wearing a bit thin, then a bit thinner.

By my late 30s it was starting to niggle a lot. My older son had started primary school and I remember thinking where are all the blokes? There were no male teachers at his school. It was then I had my first eureka moment. I was cycling to the station for my commute into London and I suddenly realised I wanted to be a primary school teacher. Read his entire story: /node/2068

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6) Increase in male trainee teachers in United Kingdom
Rising numbers of men are signing up to become primary school teachers, official figures show. But the data, published by the Teaching Agency, also shows there has been a fall in the number of trainee maths teachers. One in five of those on primary teacher training courses this year were male – about 4,100 men in total, according to the latest figures. Two years ago, about 18% were men (3,470 in total), the data shows. Read the report: /node/2069

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7) Could more men in childcare have a real and lasting effect on the inherent prejudices of society?
Was it fortuitous or bad timing that we launched the London Network of Men in Childcare amid the Jimmy Savile scandal, not to mention the misguided Philip Schofield/David Cameron television interview and the Newsnight debacle? Ironically perhaps, we actually chose November 19 for the London Network launch because it was International Men’s Day! Either way, mishandling of the child abuse scandal has been wholly unhelpful, since it has unlocked some incredibly ignorant thinking about men working with children – including comments from too many of those who should know better, affirming and embedding some pretty negative mind-sets and a mob mentality. Read the entire story & download their report: /node/2071

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8) With Perks And Privileges, Tajikistan Seeks To Draw Male Teachers Back To Schools
It’s been less than a year since Sidiq Abdulloev got a job in a school in the southern Tajik town of Qurgon-Teppa.

But the 24-year-old teacher is leaving for Russia, swapping his chosen profession for manual work on a construction site or potato farm. The reason? Abdulloev says wages are unrealistically low in Tajik schools.

“A teacher’s salary is disproportionate to living costs,” he says. “For example, a jacket and pants cost 800 somonis [about $170] but my monthly salary is 500. How can you manage? Should I buy a set of clothes and a tie, or buy food?”

Low wages have prompted thousands of male teachers like Abdulloev to quit their jobs in Tajik schools to look for better incomes elsewhere. The Education Ministry says schools are in dire need of male teachers who — in the words of one official — possess “more assertiveness and authority” with students than their female colleagues. Read the entire article: /node/2074

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9) Men in the teaching profession in Georgia
Mild” and “spicy” aren’t adjectives that Edgar Ray, a fourth-grade teacher at Bruce Elementary School, limits to descriptions of food.

During a recent lesson on synonyms and antonyms, Ray used those words to explain to his students that words with similar meanings can express different ideas.

In one example, he explained to students that “good” is a mild word, while “awesome” is a spicy, more intense word.

“See the difference?” he asked. “Would you rather have a good pair of shoes or an awesome pair of shoes?”

“Awesome!” the students shouted. Read the article: /node/2076  

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10) Men needed more in childcare say women
Craig Patterson at St Michael’s Family Long Day Care is one of a rare breed, a man who works in childcare. He is just about to clock up seven years at the Baulkham Hills centre and 13 years in childcare in western Sydney. He is a hit with children, parents and staff alike. Juanita Winks from St Michaels said she is a firm believer in male role models in childcare and said there is a need for more men. “Craig has been here some time and the staff, parents and children adore him.” Read the article: /node/2078

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