MenTeach E-News - February 2017

MenTeach E-News
February 2017

1) Male recruitment advocates discuss gender gap with students
2) Column: How I learned my own value as a black male teacher
3) Metro State U, Osseo make a deal to help diversify Minnesota’s teacher corps
4) A-plus for effort! This cool teacher has an energetic personalized handshake for every pupil
5) Japan: Should male nursery teachers change girls' clothes, diapers?
6) Massachusetts teaching force remains dominated by women
7) Educate ME Foundation working to grow the number of Black teachers for Black students across the country
8) Educators’ Summit Highlights Need For More Virginia Teachers of Color
9) MenTeach - New England Symposium: The Importance of Play Now
10) Professionalism in Education: A Perspective from a Male Student Teacher

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1) Male recruitment advocates discuss gender gap with students
Advocates that aim to close the gender gap in education met on Friday in the USU to discuss the causes and solutions for the lack of male educators in public schools, who make up a smaller percentage of educators today than they did in 1980.

Speakers included Bryan G. Nelson of MenTeach and Dr. Lemuel Watson of the Call Me MiSTER initiative, who discussed various reasons why the gender gap exists and techniques on how to recruit males in the teaching profession, with a special focus on elementary education – where the gap is widest.

Dr. David Kretschmer, a CSUN professor with the department of elementary education, and Shartriya Collier-Stewart, an associate professor with the department, discussed their findings from talking with male education students on campus.

“We were amazed at what we found,” Kretschmer said. “A disproportionate number of males were experiencing significant challenges.” Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3052

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2) Column: How I learned my own value as a black male teacher
Ricky House teaches 7th and 8th grade social studies in Arlington, Virginia. Black male teachers have played a critical role in his professional life as well as in his students’ lives. He is also an adviser for My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative set up under President Obama to help mentor boys and young men of color. In the last days of his presidency, Mr. Obama renamed the program the “Task Force on Improving the Lives of Boys and Young Men of Color and Underserved Youth,” hoping that it would continue in the Trump administration.

When I started my teaching career in 2012, I was elated to find out that my yearlong internship would be spent under the mentorship of a black male educator. Little did I know that my mentor would push me relentlessly, to the brink of wanting to give up. To this day I believe that it was his high expectations and belief in my potential that made me the educator I am today.

Watching how my mentor interacted with students and set the highest of expectations is something I brought with me into my own classroom. There were many times during my internship that I questioned why he was so critical of my every move, but I now recognize that he saw something in me that I did not yet see in myself, and he knew that I had the ability to be a highly effective teacher. Read the PBS editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/3054

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3) Metro State U, Osseo make a deal to help diversify Minnesota’s teacher corps
In a system as big, complex and resistant to change as that by which we educate children, efforts to innovate deserve notice.

They matter in a state that fails to educate all its children and one struggling to add diversity to its teaching corps.

With hometown pride, we make note of new work at Metropolitan State University to remove barriers that make it harder for aspiring teachers to take their places in Minnesota schools that need them.

The university — known for its diverse and non-traditional student body — explains that an agreement with Osseo Area Schools in the northwest Twin Cities suburbs will reduce “barriers of entry” for prospective teachers of color from Metro State’s School of Urban Education. Read newspaper editorial: http://menteach.org/node/3055

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4) A-plus for effort! This cool teacher has an energetic personalized handshake for every pupil
A US primary school teacher has staked a claim at being the coolest in the world after memorising elaborate hi-five routines with each of his pupils.

Barry White Jr, an English teacher at Ashley Park Elementary School in North Carolina, has created unique handshake routines for his student and performs them every morning as they enter class.

Mobile phone footage captures the fun and games as the excited 10 and 11-year-old's do their morning ritual with Mr. White Jr.

Each handshake is based around the student's personality and acts as a relationship builder between them and their tutor.

The routines range from understated handshakes and fist bumps to more elaborate dance routines, shuffles and salutes. Read the article and watch the video: http://www.menteach.org/node/3057

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5) Japan: Should male nursery teachers change girls' clothes, diapers?
A plan by the Chiba municipal government to promote the utilization of male nursery teachers has sparked intense debate on the internet about the involvement of male childcare workers in changing the clothes and diapers of infant girls.

Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai's tweet saying "Requests from girls' parents not to have male teachers involved in changing clothes had been the accepted norm" was met with responses on both sides of the issue, such as "Male nursery teachers should be treated equally," and "I feel uncomfortable if men are involved [in such matters]."

According to the city government, there were 50 males, or 7.1 percent, among the 700 full-time nursery teachers at municipal day care centers and "nintei kodomo" certfied childcare facilities that also function as day care centers as of April 2016. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3059

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6) Massachusetts teaching force remains dominated by women
Despite efforts to recruit more male teachers, their numbers in Massachusetts public school classrooms remain stagnant, according to a Globe review.

About 25 percent of all public school teachers statewide last year were men. That figure has been fairly flat in recent years. But the share of male teachers is lower than it was in the early 1990s, when it was about 32 percent.

The teacher gender disparity is most pronounced at the elementary grades.

Educators say students benefit from having more male role models. Studies have shown that some boys learn better when teamed with a male teacher.

If students have people in front of them that look like them and that they can relate to in a different way — and you see it both with race and gender — it impacts their ability to learn," said Liz Losee, director of educator preparation and assessment at the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Among students statewide, boys slightly outnumbered girls, 51 percent to 49 percent. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3067

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7) Educate ME Foundation working to grow the number of Black teachers for Black students across the country
The axiom, "Those who cannot do, teach," missed the point, as far as Blake Nathan is concerned.

In fact, Nathan created the Educate ME Foundation on a wholly opposite premise: To mentor and encourage African-American students, high school and college, to pursue careers in education, especially as teachers—and to help existing Black teachers find new opportunities.

All with one goal, Nathan said: "To increase the number of African-American teachers in classrooms where they would have a cultural connection. That dynamic makes a huge difference for Black students."

Nathan, 27, speaks from his own experience. Growing up outside Atlanta, he said he had just three Black teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade. While in undergrad at historically Black Tennessee State University, he said he had just five African-American professors.

Then, as a middle school teacher, in Indianapolis, Nathan said he was the only Black male teacher in his district. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3061

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8) Educators’ Summit Highlights Need For More Virginia Teachers of Color
Nearly one-half of students attending Virginia public schools are minorities, but fewer than one in five teachers is.

That stark statistic motivated policymakers, K-12 and higher education experts, students from HBCUs, and others to gather for the first-ever Teachers of Color Summit organized by the Virginia Education Association. The conference featured promising programs and panels on issues such as recruiting male teachers of color and how to address rising student loan debt.

If there was any doubt about the importance of the event, Jahana Hayes erased it during the event’s keynote speech.

The 2016 National Teacher of the Year, a high school history teacher in Connecticut, grew up in a housing project, raised by her grandmother. “All my teachers were white, and most of them couldn’t have loved me more if I had been their own,” Hayes told a hushed crowd of about 250 educators. “But they didn’t have the experiences, or the words, to have the conversations I needed to have. I think kids need to ‘see it to be it.’ For a long time, I thought teaching was only something white women did.” Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3062

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9) MenTeach - New England Symposium: The Importance of Play Now
DIANE LEVIN: Diane's presentation was delayed about 20 minutes because of some technical difficulties with equipment on Wheelock's end. Diane's presentation emphasized the importance of play in light of the commercialization of play and the introduction of screen technology to children at younger and younger ages. She argued that commercial tie-ins with toys define the parameters of the play and limit the more open ended imaginative play that is so necessary for children to make sense of the world and develop social and problem solving skills. The screen technology for early learners becomes in many ways practice for taking directions. Most programs direct children toward a certain end and limit the directions the play can take. Diane also gave some examples of two-dimensional play that would better serve learning if it were three dimensional, for example, block building on a screen as opposed to real world block building.

Diane ended by showing the learning in the physical, social, and imaginative realms that open ended play inspires.

The talk was very interactive and the audience chipped in with examples of their own and some very poignant observations.

THE PANEL: After a short break, each of the four panelists spoke to a certain aspect of play. The presenters were Ed Klugman, Professor Emeritus at Wheelock, Charlotte Clarke, a retired daycare licensor for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education, Jim St. Clair a retired kindergarten teacher of 39 years and David Ramsey a curriculum developer for the Boston Public Schools. Read the report: http://www.menteach.org/node/3066

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10) Professionalism in Education: A Perspective from a Male Student Teacher
[MenTeach - Brandon was part of the UW - Stout Men's Teachers Club]. If you ask every teacher and staff member in an elementary school to give their definition of professionalism, chances are, every definition will be different. Many responses hit on some similarities to the definition, but in all reality the word holds a different meaning for everybody. So, how do you know if you are showing professionalism? What if your definition is totally different than a colleague? It can be a tricky topic to discuss due to possible age gaps, variances between males and females, and perceptions or experiences each have had. Maybe an age gap is the reason definitions are so different, maybe it is differences between males and females or maybe it is because of the experiences you have previously had.  Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/3064

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