MenTeach E-News - August 2016

MenTeach E-News
August 2016

1) Crisis in primary schools as almost a MILLION children don't have a male teacher
2) The Impact of a Black Male Teacher: The Day Harrison Died
3) Men in early childcare: ‘We’ve seen nothing but a positive impact’
4) Northern California Men in Child Care Conference
5) Report from Germany about percentages of Men Teaching
6) Should a daycare notify parents about male caregivers?
7) New Zealand Expert calls for government to act on lack of men in early childhood education
8) Why Black Men Quit Teaching
9) 'We could change a life': Summerville teacher to start male mentoring program
10) The Table of Knowledge (T.O.K.)

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1) Crisis in primary schools as almost a MILLION children don't have a male teacher
Nearly a million primary school children in England do not have a male teacher, official figures show.

There were 31,600 male primary teachers at the last count, compared to 151,200 females – one man for every six women in the role.

That rises to one man for every four women in headteacher roles.

And there were 3,727 primary schools in England without any male teachers at all, up from 3,680 in 2014.

Dr Martin Robb, senior lecturer with The Open University , said: “It’s important to have a gender balanced workforce for all kinds of reasons, but the gender of the worker isn’t actually the most important thing for boys. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2950

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2) The Impact of a Black Male Teacher: The Day Harrison Died
Steven James Harrison, Jr. was an English teacher in the Rochester City School District who gave a large part of his time and resources to students beyond the classroom. On August 4, 2006 Harrison traveled from Rochester to his home in the Bronx along with his brother Marquis to celebrate their mother's birthday. Sadly, Harrison and Marquis were in a car accident while driving through treacherous weather in Poughkeepsie, New York that resulted in the tragic and untimely death of the beloved teacher. He was 28.

Harrison was one of few Black male teachers at East High School. He had a wealth of knowledge and understanding for the issues impacting the students he served. His strong personality, brutally-honest opinions and comical innuendos (genuinely used when pressing students to be moral and ethical about all things that mattered) registered well with many students that called him brother and mentor. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2952

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3) Men in early childcare: ‘We’ve seen nothing but a positive impact’
“Early childhood education in Ireland at the moment is at a very exciting place,” says David Kenna (29), a “floating” junior manager with Park Academy Childcare, which has eight centres in south Dublin/north Wicklow, including an outdoors nature kindergarten.

“It is all moving towards child-led learning and learning through play; that’s what really appeals to me.”

He first worked in early years education as a teacher’s aide when he lived in New Zealand for a while, before returning to Ireland.

Having just completed a three-year honours degree in early childhood education and care at the Wicklow campus of the Institute of Technology Carlow, he combined his studies with working his way up the career ladder at the Park Academy. There were 42 in the class and the one other male was employed in a primary school.

“My mother is a special needs assistant and she has always encouraged me with children, it was a step from there,” says Kenna, who believes a lingering stigma still puts off men from becoming involved in childcare. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2953

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4) Northern California Men in Child Care Conference
Northern California Men in Child Care Conference
October 22, 2016
8AM - 4:30PM
American River College
Sacramento, CA

See the conference: http://www.menteach.org/node/2868

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5) Report from Germany about percentages of Men Teaching
The percentage of men in ECEC in Germany is around 5% now (data for 2015). There are huge differences between regions, ranging from more than 10% in several big cities to less than 3% in the Federal state of Bavaria, where there is still no male worker at all in 85% of ECEC centers.

The number of male ECEC students in vocational training is also increasing (2014/2015: 17%). Interestingly, the proportion of men in programs for job shifters to ECEC is higher. In an ongoing European Social Fund model program for on-the-job training for ECEC, supported by the coordination office in Berlin, the proportion of men is even higher, 52%! Read the letter: http://www.menteach.org/node/2958

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6) Should a daycare notify parents about male caregivers?
Society is a fluid and changing thing. Caring for a child is also fluid. The way people behaved even a few years ago draws very different reactions today. In this torrent of changing opinions is the perception of men as caregivers.

There are more expectations and opportunities for men to be involved in children's lives. But what happens when a male caretaker is not a father, not a relative, but a daycare worker?

There seems to be a comfort level with a male nanny or daycare worker playing sports, safely rough housing with, or being in charge of boys, but other aspects of care give some parents pause. Read the editorial: http://menteach.org/node/2959

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7) New Zealand Expert calls for government to act on lack of men in early childhood education
An early childcare researcher is calling on the Government to do more to address a lack of men in pre-school teaching.

Sarah Alexander, of research organisation ChildForum, met Ministry of Education staff last week to discuss the gender gap in early childhood education (ECE), which she says could be improved with political support.

"We are kind of at a crossroads now, where if we continue to do nothing, nothing will ever happen. Now is the time to do it."

Two per cent of the teaching staff in kindergartens, childcare centres and working as coordinators of home-based ECE are male.

She wanted to see the Government introduce policy that would help encourage men into the workforce. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2961

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8) Why Black Men Quit Teaching
How can we help black boys succeed in school? One popular answer is that we need more black male teachers.

The logic appears simple: Black boys are not faring well, and the presence of black men as teachers and role models will fix this problem. The former secretary of education, Arne Duncan, brought this theory to national attention with a number of speeches at historically black colleges and universities. His successor, John King Jr., has taken up the argument, often repeating the statistic that only 2 percent of our nation's teachers are African-American men.

The argument may be well intentioned, but it is a cop-out. Schools are failing black male students, and it's not because of the race of their teachers. These students are often struggling with the adverse effects of poverty, the inequitable distribution of resources across communities and the criminalization of black men inside and outside of schools. Black male teachers can serve as powerful role models, but they cannot fix the problems minority students face simply by being black and male. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2964

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9) 'We could change a life': Summerville teacher to start male mentoring program
Growing up, Summerville teacher ReZsaun Lewis never felt connected with school. He grew up in a rough North Charleston neighborhood and watched his two brothers suffer from poor decisions. Lewis said he, too, might have ended up in jail like one of them, or on a different life path, had his middle school chorus teacher Marianne Williams not taken him under her wing.

"She was the first person to really take a long-term interest in me," Lewis said. "She was an amazing teacher."

Though she's since passed, her memory and impact on Lewis's life remains just as powerful, he said. He and several former choir members even gathered to sing at her funeral years later.

Lewis said he hopes to mirror her influence in the lives of local children, particularly young boys and teens. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2965

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10) The Table of Knowledge (T.O.K.)
Happy New Year!  While I realize this is a phrase we use in January, not September, the start of a new school year does resemble the beginning of a new year in many ways. Teachers spent time in the summer exploring new subject matter they will teach. They may also have re-designed teaching strategies and practices to improve their personal and professional relationships with students and colleagues.

This summer I was fortunate to spend a great amount of time ‘up north’ at a campground that resembles somewhat of a ghost town during the week.  I enjoyed the quiet and solitude but also appreciated getting to know other campers from various professions and careers. More than once I was humbly reminded how fortunate I am to be a teacher who is granted time in the summer to regroup, rethink, and relax before embarking on another year.

Similar to beginning the month of January resolutions are emerging on a list for September. These September declarations may be easier to fulfill then those in January because of their professional focus. For example, this fall my goals include items such as writing daily, reading more scholarly articles, and developing techniques that engage students in learning.  This is in contrast to January goals that have a more personal flavor that include losing ten pounds, exercising more and eating healthier.  Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2960

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