Men's Stories

First year teacher's success

by Lisa Liechner in Christiansburg, Virginia, USA
Last August, Dan began his first year teaching. When he came home the first day, he was pretty much wiped out and convinced that he wasn't cut out to be a teacher and should quit ... soon. Since Dan's not one to quit easily, it was a real shock that he was so set to give up. I emailed several people asking for prayers, and I also was practically on my knees most of the night in prayer for him.

"Mr. B" teaches second-grade

by Brittany Boyd in Northern Virginia, USA
At Little River Elementary School in South Riding, second-grade teacher Timothy Bjorseth, affectionately known as "Mr. B," is one of only six male teachers among a faculty of 45.

A 10-year instructor in education, Bjorseth said he was even more of a minority at the first elementary school where he taught in Illinois. He said he was the only male teacher that school had seen in 10 or 15 years.

When deciding to pursue a career in education, Bjorseth said he did not waver because he'd be a minority as a male.

Ralph Ramstad, a teacher who broke barrier

by Ben Cohen, Star Tribune in Minneapolis, MN, USA
Ralph Ramstad began teaching in the Minneapolis School District around 1950, when few elementary school teachers were male.

Ramstad, a decorated World War II infantryman who spent most of his career teaching fifth- through eighth-graders at Burroughs Elementary, died of natural causes on Monday in Minneapolis.

He was 86.

Working with Children - Intertwined with Faith

Ron Blatz
by Ron Blatz in Manitoba, Canada
My personal story is unavoidably intertwined with my being a part of a faith community. As an Evangelical Christian much of life is seen as the outworking of a God who has a specific purpose for each of us. Our job is to observe the gifts and passions he has placed in us and watch for the open doors that come our way, and then to courageously walk through these doors believing that we can do anything.  All this helps to understand how a Mennonite farm kid from the prairies of Canada could possibly end up in Early Childhood.

Arnold Blume: Substitute Teacher Tells History First Hand

Arnold Blume
by Paul Vitello - New York Times in Breakneck, NY USA
The substitute teacher in Room 216 was pacing, searching for the right touchstone to help an eighth-grade social studies class in this mostly white, affluent community comprehend the sting of racial discrimination.
"O.K., have any of you ever seen the TV show ‘All in the Family?' " he asked.

Some of the Abercrombie-clad 12- and 13-year-olds looked up from their dog-eared three-ring binders. Some studied their cuticles. One girl tentatively raised her hand.

Looking up to a male teacher

Bart Tittle
by Bart Tittle - Pearson Teacher Fellowship - Jumpstart Corps in Kansas - United States
Bart Tittle served 300 hours as a Jumpstart Corps member while he was a student at the University of Missouri Kanses City. After graduating in 2005, Bart joined the Pearson Teacher Fellowship.

Retired Piermont teacher believes a man's life work speaks more than his race

Clarence Branch Jr.
by Randi Weiner - The Journal News in Piermont, NY USA
Clarence Branch Jr. has been fortunate in his life - enough so that the acts of racial prejudice he encounters still surprise him as much as anger him.

As one of the first black teachers in the South Orangetown schools in the early 1960s, he said he has been welcomed, respected and considered part of the community for as long as he could recall, despite coming to the nearly all-white school district when racial tensions made the news on a nearly daily basis.

Disciplinarian said 'education is the key to success'

John Henry Jackson
by Rev. Ed Anderson LTC (Ret.) US Army in Washington, Georgia - USA
Distinguished African American educator, "Professor" John Henry Jackson was born May 1, 1903, in Wilkes County, Georgia, to Charlie and Hattie Bonner Jackson, a school teacher at Third Shiloh Academy. After attending and graduating from the schools of Washington, he successfully earned a bachelors of science degree in education from Morehouse College of Atlanta in 1927, during the presidency of the eminent educator and scholar, Dr. John Hope.

A woman's world?

by Ashley Rhodebeck - Beloit Daily News in Beloit, WI - USA
Males rare in education's early grades

A teacher like Tom Hamlett is hard to find.

No, the education veteran doesn't perform crazy stunts to get his students' attention, nor does he use a revolutionary teaching method.

So, what sets Hamlett apart from his fellow teachers?

He's male.

Even rarer, he's a man teaching elementary students.

The male minority

by Phyllis Coulter in Bloomington, IL USA
They are a group of men who work in an overwhelmingly female world.

They are used to children forgetting and calling them "Mrs.," they know to check the men's room to make sure no women happen to be in there, and as one put it, "I probably know more about pregnancy than a man should know."

These men also say they have one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in the world: teaching elementary school.