MenTeach E-News - June 2016

MenTeach E-News
June 2016

1) Why let the facts get in the way of a good story? Women will always be blamed for boys' underachievement
2) The remarks of Donovan Livingston at Harvard
3) 2017 World Forum Foundation – Men in Early Childhood Education proposals due
4) Northern California Men in Child Care Conference
5) New York mayor: Why our cities need more teachers of color
6) Only male teacher at Felbridge school explains why more men needed in classroom
7) Meet the male teachers changing the perception of nursery school education
8) 'MacGyver' for preschoolers brings expertise to the (water) table
9) Philly Organization Hopes to Recruit 1,000 Black Male Teachers by 2020
10) Editorial: Humble and Kind

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1) Why let the facts get in the way of a good story? Women will always be blamed for boys' underachievement
Teachers, as we know all too well, are to blame for everything.

Society piles up all its ills at their door -- and then buggers off on a cheap holiday in term time. And female teachers, it seems, are the devil's work.

A report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute last week came with the grim warning that girls born this year would be 75 per cent more likely to study for a degree than boys if action were not taken to address a growing university gender gap.

This allowed Mary Curnock Cook, head of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, to spout the line so prevalent in the 1990s that boys' education suffers because they are taught predominantly by women. Like the myth that grammar schools are better, this one was readily lapped up by a prejudiced popular press.

The Hepi report – entitled Boys to Men – for which Ms Curnock Cook wrote the foreword, found no truth in her assertion, as she happily admitted, but she didn't let the facts stand in the way of a good tabloid soundbite. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2904

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2) The remarks of Donovan Livingston at Harvard
Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin,
Is a great equalizer of the conditions of men." – Horace Mann, 1848.
At the time of his remarks I couldn't read — couldn't write.
Any attempt to do so, punishable by death.
For generations we have known of knowledge's infinite power.
Yet somehow, we've never questioned the keeper of the keys —
The guardians of information.

Unfortunately, I've seen more dividing and conquering
In this order of operations — a heinous miscalculation of reality.
For some, the only difference between a classroom and a plantation is time.
How many times must we be made to feel like quotas —
Like tokens in coined phrases? —
"Diversity. Inclusion"
There are days I feel like one, like only —
A lonely blossom in a briar patch of broken promises.
But I've always been a thorn in the side of injustice.

Watch the entire spoken word commencement: http://www.menteach.org/node/2906

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3) 2017 World Forum Foundation – Men in Early Childhood Education proposals due

Would you like to be a part of the 2017 World Forum? Apply to be a presenter! Each session will have three to four presenters, with representation from multiple parts of the world. You may apply as an individual or you may propose your own panel of four presenters from diverse regions of the world. Proposals must be submitted by July 1, 2016 in order to be considered.

Read the announcement and see past Men in Early Childhood Education events at the World Forum Foundation events.: http://menteach.org/node/2939

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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) New York mayor: Why our cities need more teachers of color
Our nation hit two significant milestones in the last two years: for the first time, the majority of U.S. public school students and the majority of U.S. children under the age of five are of color.

Unfortunately, as our country and classrooms become more diverse, the diversity of our national teaching corps has failed to keep up. Finding ways to close this gap is crucial to the lives of young students of color — and to broader classroom environments that are made stronger by diversity.

In New York City, where more than 85 percent of students are black, Latino or Asian, fewer than 40 percent of teachers share these racial and ethnic backgrounds. And this disparity becomes even worse when it includes gender: boys of color in New York City make up 43 percent of our public school population, yet only 8 percent of our teachers are men of color. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2915

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6) Only male teacher at Felbridge school explains why more men needed in classroom
The only male teacher at a school in Felbridge has shared his views on why more men should work in primary education.

Eliot Law joined Felbridge Primary, in Crawley Down Road, in September and became the first male teacher at the school in more than five years.

According to the 2014 School Workforce in England report from the Department for Education, of the 189,400 primary school teachers, 28,400 were male – just 15 per cent. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2916

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7) Meet the male teachers changing the perception of nursery school education
"For far too long we've had an upside down education system – with all the emphasis on the importance of GCSE, A Level and university," explains Jay Ramsey, 40, a nursery teacher at St Werburgh's Park School in Bristol. "But research shows that the influence of a good quality nursery environment continues to be felt right through to GCSEs and A Levels – and these benefits can even be measured economically."

Ramsey, who has worked in the profession for the past eight years, is something of a rarity. Despite UK government attempts to change the gender ratio of teachers in Early Years, 98% of them are women. In no other public sector department is the imbalance so severe.

But changes are afoot – thanks, in part, to an initiative Ramsey set up. The Bristol Men In Early Years Network helps ensure that the city bucks the national trend significantly - with 7% of its nursery teachers being men. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2924

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8) 'MacGyver' for preschoolers brings expertise to the (water) table
[MenTeach: See an interview and story about Tom Bedard]. The preschoolers gather around the water table Monday morning.

It's a wondrous contraption, two tables fashioned into one long one and stacked with accessories like swimming noodles and coffee filters.

The children don't know it, but the guy who made this wonder — their teacher, Tom Bedard, at the Homecroft Early Learning Center in St. Paul — is considered a sort of preschool MacGyver (that classic television character who made extraordinary things out of ordinary objects).

"I go through the hardware stores and think, 'Huh! What can I use this for?' " says Bedard, 65½, of St. Paul. "I'm known for my sand and water tables. I build in and around the tables to make them unique spaces for the kids to play and learn. It's a great invitation for them, it draws them in to experiment and explore."

Bedard, who will retire from his job when the St. Paul school year wraps up in June, recently took some time to look back and look ahead at the career he considers a calling. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2925

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9) Philly Organization Hopes to Recruit 1,000 Black Male Teachers by 2020
A group of local teachers has put together a plan to increase recruitment of black men into the profession.

The Fellowship, a recently founded organization, has already received national attention for its work. Studies have shown that minority students' performance in the classroom can be enhanced when their teacher is the same race as them. However, according to the organization, having diverse teachers can be beneficial to all students. It can challenge stereotypes that students may have and make them more tolerant.

The group's motto, "2 percent is not enough," refers to the fact that just two percent of teachers in America are black men, according to the Department of Education. Only seven percent of total teachers are black, and only eight percent are Latino, compared to 80 percent who are white. Additionally, 3/4 of educators are women nationally. Around five percent of educators are black women, which is also an incredibly small amount. All of this is despite the fact that black students make up nearly 15 percent of the nation's student body. This means that students everywhere have very little chance of ever having a black man as their teacher. Read the article and read the report: http://www.menteach.org/node/2927

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10) Editorial: Humble and Kind
[MenTeach: Dr. Jill has been working to increase and retain men in her education program. We asked her to write about her experiences as a woman facilitator.] Recently, I heard Tim McGraw's new song, Humble and Kind. Typically I am skeptical of reading too much emphasis into the lyrics of songs but something about this song keeps tugging at my heartstrings. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2940

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