MenTeach E-News - February 2016

MenTeach E-News
February 2016

1) Update for Malaysian
2) Wanted in China: More male teachers
3) Jobs: Why more men should become primary school teachers
4) Dear MenTeach - How do I change careers to become a teacher?
5) Group on assignment to recruit and retain black male teachers
6) Black, Male Teachers: a Dwindling Demographic
7) Men give back to the community - UW Stout M.E.N.
8) Where are the male African-American teachers?
9) Books: 'Work Hard, Be Hard' and 'Work Hard, Be Nice,' dueling takes on KIPP
10) Male teachers outnumber females at New Zealand Hamilton's Rhode Street School

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1) Update for Malaysian
The year 2015 had brought us beautiful and meaningful memories in our Early Chilhood industry in Malaysia.

The most interesting and successful one was our involvement and achievement in the Malaysia Book of Records. The great idea was from the CEO of Kids Campus, En. Muhammad Shukri and his team who also as safety officer suggested to organise this great event. In fact, three quarters of those who were involved in the planning and strategizing were men. Since time was a real constraint, committee meetings were held day and late nights and all members were men.

Involvement and commitment from the State Welfare Department, the Fire and Rescue Department, Lecturers and Students of Local Universty plus more than 60 Childcare Centres and almost 3000 children. Read the update: http://www.menteach.org/node/2809

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2) Wanted in China: More male teachers
The history class began with a lesson on being manly.

Lin Wei, 27, one of a handful of male sixth-grade teachers at the No. 1 primary school here, has made a habit of telling stories about warlords who threw witches into rivers and soldiers who outsmarted Japanese troops. "Men have special duties," he said. "They have to be brave, protect women and take responsibility for wrongdoing."

Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys, Chinese educators are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom.

In Zhengzhou, a city on the Yellow River, schools have asked boys to sign petitions pledging to act like "real men." In Shanghai, principals are trying boys-only classes with courses like martial arts, computer repair and physics. In Hangzhou, in eastern China, educators have started a summer camp called "West Point Boys," complete with taekwondo classes and the motto, "We bring out the men in boys." Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2811

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3) Jobs: Why more men should become primary school teachers
People ask 'why should men be primary school teachers?' and we say 'why not?" That's the question posed by Martin Smith, primary education lecturer at UEA.

He points out that some children may not hear a male voice all day at primary school and in other schools there may only be one male.

"And he's just as likely to be the caretaker or the headteacher as a classroom teacher," says Martin.

He says primary school teaching is a brilliant career, and he should know. He took the PGCE teaching course at UEA and spent four years teaching at Blofield Primary and a further 14 at what was Horsford Middle, before taking his current job teaching the teachers.

"I loved it," he says, adding that within his 18 years of teaching he couldn't remember two days being the same: "Every day is different, just as every child is different," he says.

The UEA is keen to inspire more people into primary teaching, especially men. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2812

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4) Dear MenTeach - How do I change careers to become a teacher?
[MenTeach: We get numerous e-mails from men wanting to change careers. For privacy we've deleted personal identifying information. What advice would you give them?]

My name is X, I'm a 33 year old man who works in the music industry. My wife is a public high school teacher here. I am considering a career change: I feel called to work with high school kids, and I would love to coach football. Currently I'm planning to join a local high school for spring training practice.

Will someone please let me know more about resources for men who want to teach?  Specifically, are there programs that provide financial assistance for college requirements, or perhaps a lateral entry program?

I hold a bachelor degree (music); it's likely that I will pursue math. Although we are currently in X we are planning to move to Raleigh, NC to be near my wife's family within the next 2-4 years or so. Read our answer: http://www.menteach.org/node/2815

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5) Group on assignment to recruit and retain black male teachers
The Group called Profound Gentlemen is ready to tackle an assignment to get more black male teachers inside the classrooms. The group is working with school districts in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and Charlotte.

They admit it is a challenge but they claim achieving the goal will pay off.

"African American male students who have an African American male teacher - suspension rates go down, academic data goes up," Profound Gentlemen Co-Founder Jason Terrell said.

The group also believes having a black male teacher can make a difference outside the classrooms too.

"They can talk to and see what success looks like," Profound Gentlemen Co-Founder Mario Javon Shaw said. "And see that they too can become an educator, hopefully."

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District, about 15% of the district's roughly 9,000 teachers are African American and only 5% of CMS' teaching force are black males.

The plan is to retain black male teachers by offering the support they need to be successful in the classroom, and to also offer discounts to certain items. Profound Gentlemen can also help with promotions for black male teachers.

The promotions will yield higher paying jobs so they can still remain inside the school. Watch the video: http://www.menteach.org/node/2816

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6) Black, Male Teachers: a Dwindling Demographic
When Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, Chrissell Rhone lost lots: his home, his job, and the sense of security that came from teaching alongside people who looked like him.

The storm forced Rhone to pack up and leave New Orleans, where an ample supply of black educators populated the city's classrooms. He settled just 45 miles northeast, in Picayune, Miss., a town of 11,000 near the Mississippi-Louisiana border, and is now the lone black teacher at the district's alternative education center and among only a handful of black male educators in a district where a majority of students are white.

As a result, the past decade of Rhone's 20-year career has taken a shape that differs from the first. He went from a place where race was an afterthought for him to one where race is more frequently on his mind.

"I wouldn't say every day, but much more frequently than it had ever been when I lived in New Orleans," Rhone said. "I have run into some problems and situations [where] I wondered, 'Had I not been a black man, would it have been such a problem?' "
Read his story: http://menteach.org/node/2818

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7) Men give back to the community - UW Stout M.E.N.
Being a part of our M.E.N group on campus provides the opportunity to give back better both the community and ourselves. A year ago, we organized a day with the local Boys and Girls Club to provide the students with a change of pace and some new activities. As a group we thought of some fun activities and games ranging anywhere from bean bag toss, to hula hooping, to football. The day turned out as a great success with all of the kids and our group having an awesome time. Read the story: http://menteach.org/node/2820

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8) Where are the male African-American teachers?
Tim Gates knew exactly what he wanted to be at a very young age.

"There are a lot of teachers in my family," Gates said. "I've always wanted to be a teacher."

Gates is teaching 5th grade at Martin Luther King, Junior Elementary School in Oklahoma City and loving every minute of it.

"It gives me the opportunity to give a gift that you can't necessarily see."

Gates if one of few male African-American teachers in the nation. He says he feels the extra pressure because for many of his students there isn't a Black male teacher influence at home or at school.

"I am the father figure for a lot of these children because some of them are lacking that at home," Gates said.

"Schools need Black male teachers to support Black boys and Brown boys," said Travis Bristol, who received his PhD in Education Policy at Columbia University. His dissertation researched the experiences and retention of Black male teachers.

He says one of the reasons they're leaving is because of where they're placed. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2825

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9) Books: 'Work Hard, Be Hard' and 'Work Hard, Be Nice,' dueling takes on KIPP
Cambridge College education professor Jim Horn presents his new book, "Work Hard, Be Hard: Journeys Through 'No Excuses' Teaching," as a necessary antidote to my 2009 book, "Work Hard. Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America."

We are polar opposites on the issue of KIPP, the nation's largest charter school network, and charters in general. He says, correctly, that he and I "have maintained a prickly relationship over the past ten years by writing from contrasting perspectives about corporate education issues and education reform schools."

The reasons for our differences are illuminated by the way we handle the same material in our books. Read the column: http://www.menteach.org/node/2830

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10) Male teachers outnumber females at New Zealand Hamilton's Rhode Street School
Male teachers outnumber females at a Hamilton primary school, bucking a national trend which sees women dominate the profession.

There are 10 male teachers at Hamilton's Rhode Street School and six females.

Rhode Street School is reversing the national trend in which women make up about 84 per cent of the primary teaching workforce.

Teaching is in Sam Allen's family and he carried on the tradition.

"I wanted to be a teacher so if there was any kid like me they would have someone that would understand what it was like to always talk and be very fidgety and active," he said.

Male teachers seemed to gravitate towards intermediate level or above, and move out of the classroom into management. Watch the video: http://www.menteach.org/node/2832

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