MenTeach E-News - July 2016

MenTeach E-News
July 2016

1) Excellent Educator: Tom Bedard Of Homecroft Early Learning Center
2) End Gender Barriers for Male Teachers
3) Race Biases Teachers' Expectations for Students
4) Northern California Men in Child Care Conference
5) Only 8 percent of New York City teachers are men of color. Here's how the city is trying to change that
6) Part Silly Adult, Human Monkey Bar; All Kindergarten
7) Her Male Teachers Were Integral to Her Success and Sense of Self
8) Why recruiting more men of color isn't enough to solve our teacher diversity problem
9) Lawyer-Turned-Teacher Says Desire for Family Time Explains Why More Men Go 'Pink Collar'
10) Change: From acceptance to serenity

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1) Excellent Educator: Tom Bedard Of Homecroft Early Learning Center
[MenTeach: You read more about Tom's work here. And his story here. His blog postings here.

Tom Bedard has spent his career working with the youngest of students at Homecroft Early Learning Center in St. Paul.

"Birth to five years old, I've worked with thousands of children," he said.

He graduated with a degree in Childhood Psychology from the University of Minnesota and pursued Early Education, a field at the time not common for men.

"My mother would talk about how I had this temporary job until I got a real job, because what's a young man in the 70s going to work with young kids all their life? But she didn't know that within two weeks I was going to stay in this profession for the rest of my life," Bedard said.

"Being a male in the field back in the 70s was quite a challenge because usually they were minimum wage jobs and it was always hard economically, but to stay in the field one has to be pretty dedicated," Donald Sysyn, his supervisor, said.

That dedicated has lasted through the decades. He's made a name for himself for his unique play spaces he designs, like a sand and water sensory table. Watch the video and read the story: http://www.menteach.org/node/2926

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2) End Gender Barriers for Male Teachers
Recent efforts to break gender barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields present opportunities for women to advance in fields which were previously closed off to them. While there is still work to be done, initiatives such as Girls Who Code or the NYU organization Women In Science suggest there is hope for a female-friendly work environment. However, where there is imbalance in male-dominated professions, there is also an imbalance in female-dominated fields which must be similarly remedied. The traditionally female-occupied role of teaching must also diminish its stark gender disparity. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2931

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3) Race Biases Teachers' Expectations for Students
When evaluating the same black student, white teachers expect significantly less academic success than black teachers, a new study concludes. This is especially true for black boys.

When a black teacher and a white teacher evaluate the same black student, the white teacher is about 30 percent less likely to predict the student will complete a four-year college degree, the study found. White teachers are also 12 percent less likely to expect their black students will graduate high school.

"What we find is that white teachers and black teachers systematically disagree about the exact same student," said co-author Nicholas Papageorge, an economist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. "One of them has to be wrong." Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2932

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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) Only 8 percent of New York City teachers are men of color. Here's how the city is trying to change that
"Start sharing. Don't be shy," the facilitator said at the start a training last week for Asian, black, and Hispanic men hoping to teach in the New York City school system. He'd asked them to name a movie or song that spoke to them.

"Rocky," one man said. "The Star-Spangled Banner," said another. "Remember the Titans," Kwang Lee said, citing the movie about the black coach of a racially mixed high-school football team.

"In our classrooms, we have a lot of diverse students," explained Lee, 47, who worked in advertising for two decades before deciding recently to become a teacher. "We have to find ways to work together."

In a city where Asian, black, and Hispanic boys make up 43 percent of the over one million public-school students, just over 8 percent of the city's 76,000 teachers are nonwhite men. That leaves thousands of students of color without role models who resemble them, and without teachers who research shows tend to have higher expectations of nonwhite students. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2938

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6) Part Silly Adult, Human Monkey Bar; All Kindergarten
Gerald Neff sits on a kindergartner-size table at the front of his classroom on a recent morning and welcomes his class to a new day.

"Morning Georgia! You're wearing a dress. Are you getting married today?" he asks a youngster in a blue frock and pink leggings. "Hey Miles, does your ear still hurt?" he asks a boy who holds a paper towel up to the side of his head.

"Lucas, you want me to try your breakfast for you to see if it's all right?"

Their responses, respectively: "No!"
"When I stood up, the ear drops fell right out."
And again, "No!"

A girl with a giant heart on her T-shirt bee-lines over for one of Neff's morning hugs (as opposed to the mid-morning, afternoon and mid-afternoon kind: he is always good for hugs). Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2910

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7) Her Male Teachers Were Integral to Her Success and Sense of Self
I just had a conversation with an old high school friend of mine who is now a high school teacher herself about the nature of student/teacher relationships.

She confessed that she has an easier time connecting with her male students than her female ones; this prompted us to reminisce about the teachers who had impacted us most during those years.

I was somewhat amazed to realize that ALL of the teachers who sprang to my mind were men.

We talked about a journalism teacher in particular who we both adored; he was the sort who wore jeans and drank diet Pepsi while sitting on the corner of his desk. He was a dynamic instructor and person full of interesting stories, many of which I have never forgotten.

But what made him extraordinary was less these things and more the way he treated us: with respect for our opinions and intellects.

At some point during the year, the man in charge of our school newspaper asked him to recommend a student from the class to start writing op-ed pieces. I was obviously thrilled and flattered to get the nod. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2942

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8) First Person: Why recruiting more men of color isn't enough to solve our teacher diversity problem
A few months ago, I helped teach a lesson about gender assumptions in the workforce. My students brainstormed a whole list of male-associated jobs: construction worker, bus driver, engineer. Not one suggested teacher.

It didn't matter if the classroom was predominantly female, male, freshmen, upperclassmen. The answer always implied the same: I, a black man, wasn't supposed to be in the classroom.

Currently, of New York City's 76,000 teachers, less than 7,000 are men of color. As New York and other districts across the country work to more recruit men of color, they must also think about how they can offer them significant mentorship and emotional support. My experience shows why. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2945

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9) Lawyer-Turned-Teacher Says Desire for Family Time Explains Why More Men Go 'Pink Collar'
Adrian Ortiz made more money in Mexico than in the United States, but he's not complaining.

Ortiz, 42, was a lawyer in Mexico. Now he's a kindergarten teacher in a bilingual classroom in Houston, a job that gives him more time for family, the New York Times reports. Another man who opted for a teaching job is Charles Reed, who decided against law school and now teaches math to sixth graders.

Ortiz and Reed are among an increasing number of men who are taking jobs once dominated by women.

In a 10-year period ending in 2010, almost a third of all job growth for men occurred in occupations that are more than 70 percent female, the newspaper found. The trend is particularly pronounced among young, white male college grads. What accounts for the change? According to the Times, "Several men cited the same reasons for seeking out pink-collar work that have drawn women to such careers: less stress and more time at home." Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2947

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10) Change: From acceptance to serenity
Change…it is inevitable and constant. In fact, "There is nothing permanent except change" (Heraclitus).  Sometimes changes are welcome and yet at other times, change leaves me struggling with acceptance.

In light of the recent Democratic and Republican conventions, the word acceptance could be heard in the given speeches. The meaning of the word acceptance was a plea for support in the upcoming election. Candidates and those who spoke on behalf of the candidates shared details of their platforms outlining how accepting their nomination, would lead to a win that would bring important change and peace to the world.
Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2943

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