MenTeach E-News - June 2017

MenTeach E-News
June 2016

1) Black men teachers inspiring hope
2) Male Teacher Initiative - Today's Students, Tomorrow's teachers
3) Here's what male teachers of color want their districts to know about them
4) Go Teach, Young Man: Tweaking Risk and Reward to Recruit Male Teachers
5) Alberta, Canada facing shortage of male teachers in rural areas
6) Boston University professor Travis Bristol studies hiring, retention of teachers of color
7) Men in our classrooms in New Zealand
8) Why Some Of D.C.'s Leading Men Of Color Are Heading Back To Preschool
9) How to Become a Teacher in Lots of Steps
10) Editorial: Amazing Mentors in Your Building

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1) Black men teachers inspiring hope
Stephen Flemming is one teacher in one classroom, but he may be doing as much to keep his low-income black students in school – black males in particular – as any formal program targeted toward "at-risk" students.

Flemming teaches English language arts to 5th graders at John B. Kelly Elementary School in Germantown. All but three of his students, spread over three homerooms, are African American.

Of the District's teachers, just 4 percent are African American males, like Flemming, and he's one of a mere handful at the elementary level.

In his spacious classroom, some of the students, especially the boys, are so eager to participate that they can hardly stay in their seats. One boy grasps a basketball and occasionally bounces it. Flemming doesn't tell him to put it away.

Arrayed in a circle, they are discussing a book featuring a bullied high school student, learning on this Tuesday morning about how to spot bias in writing and the use of metaphor. Flemming, in his 10th year at Kelly, darts up and down inside the circle, coaxing out answers, prodding for more, lavishing praise, and all the while conveying an infectious enthusiasm about what they are reading and about school itself. He knows how to keep the discussion at a high level and also how to rein it in.

After the lesson, 11-year-old Jordan Smith marches up to a reporter and starts answering questions before they are asked. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3116

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2) Male Teacher Initiative - Today's Students, Tomorrow's teachers
Nearly one quarter, 24% of Today's Students, Tomorrow's Teachers (TSTT) students are male. We are collaborating with schools in New York City and Rochester City to expand our Male Teacher of Color Initiative to increase the number of male teachers and improve the academic outcomes of high school students and college graduation rates among students at the Bronx Academy for Heath Careers, the Eagle Academy for Young Men and the Leadership Academy for Young Men in Rochester City. Read the article and download their brochure: http://www.menteach.org/node/3118

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3) Here's what male teachers of color want their districts to know about them
A passion for teaching and learning is what drew Archie Moss to a career in education. But the Memphis principal recalls how he almost left the profession when he found himself increasingly tasked as a disciplinarian.

One of the few black male teachers in his former school in Charlotte, N.C., Moss had just been tapped as its new disciplinary dean when his students' math scores came back from the state — and were the highest in his school.

It was a revelation.

"We can be instructional leaders" and "not just pushed down to discipline," Moss said of being a black male educator. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3121

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4) Go Teach, Young Man: Tweaking Risk and Reward to Recruit Male Teachers
How do we attract more top-performing male teachers to the profession, and what role does compensation play?

EdWeek recently published an op-ed, Rethinking Teacher Compensation, by Laura Overdeck, Arthur Levine, and Christopher Daggett. The authors argue that states should reallocate compensation funding away from "backloaded" plans such as defined-benefit pensions, and toward earlier-career perks like higher starting salaries and annual bonuses.

Around the same time, I read another op-ed, entitled "Reasons why men should be teaching in the classroom, too," by William Gomley. Like the EdWeek op-ed, Gomley's editorial makes reference to the 2010 McKinsey study Closing the Talent Gap, which makes it clear that top-performing nations recruit and retain their teachers very differently than we do in the US. Gomley argues that we're failing to attract men to the profession, and this has real consequences. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3122

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5) Alberta, Canada facing shortage of male teachers in rural areas
At a time when most other provinces face declining school enrolment, Alberta stands out.

"A Transformation in Progress," Alberta Education's 2011 "snapshot" of teacher and student demographics, projected Alberta's student population will increase by 150,000 over the next 14 years. The report estimated the province will need an an additional 9,000 full-time equivalent teachers to meet this demand.

Keeping pace with Alberta's growth, however, won't be easy. School boards face a chronic shortage of male teachers; a shortage of teachers in areas such as second languages and career and technology studies; and many teachers' preference for working in urban centres, even though they're badly needed in rural areas. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3124

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6) Boston University professor Travis Bristol studies hiring, retention of teachers of color
Travis Bristol is an assistant professor in English education at the Boston University School of Education who researches district- and school-based practices that support teachers of color; national, state and local education policies that enable and constrain the workplace experiences and retention for teachers of color; the intersection of race and gender in schools.

Bristol's study on black male teachers has been highlighted in NPR, the Washington Post, Education Week, NBC News, and Fox News. Here he speaks with the Banner about the paucity of people of color entering and remaining in the teaching profession and strategies districts and schools use to attract and retain them.

Why are school districts around the country struggling to build or maintain diverse teaching staff? Read his interview: http://menteach.org/node/3126

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7) Men in our classrooms in New Zealand
[MenTeach – This is an article from 2012 that offers a history of New Zealand policies to prevent abuse.] Features editor Claire Allison looks at what male teachers are dealing with, and why more aren't entering the profession.

When a teacher is revealed to have been sexually abusing students, shockwaves go through the affected community, and questions are asked about how it could have happened.

Just over a week ago, Pamapuria School deputy principal James Parker pleaded guilty to 49 charges of indecent assault, performing an indecent act and of unlawful sexual connection. The offending took place over nearly eight years, up until his arrest.

His arrest in the small community south of Kaitaia, and subsequent revelations that red flags had been raised for some years, has led to hard questions being asked, and much commentary on who and what failed to keep children at the school safe.

It puts the spotlight on vetting procedures, the responsibilities of school boards of trustees and principals and, once again, on male teachers.

The Christchurch Civic Creche case hit the headlines in the 1990s; a controversial sexual abuse case that saw childcare worker Peter Ellis found guilty of 16 charges of sexual offences against children, and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. Subsequent appeals saw three convictions overturned, but his sentence was upheld.

In the wake of that case, the primary teachers' union NZEI (New Zealand Educational Institute) issued guidelines for physical contact between teachers and students. While the guidelines were not gender-specific, it was always tacitly accepted that they were more relevant to male teachers than females. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3128

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8) Why Some Of D.C.'s Leading Men Of Color Are Heading Back To Preschool
At Turner Elementary School in Southeast D.C., Torren Cooper is the only male of color who works directly in the classroom, even though the student body is 98 percent African American. Cooper is a literacy coach helping some of Turner's youngest pupils with their reading and writing skills, including rhyming, alliteration, letter sounds and writing their names.

He is one of eight young men of color doing this work in D.C. Public Schools through a new program called the Leading Men Fellowship, which is wrapping up its first year.

The program trains recent D.C. public school graduates to be literacy coaches in some of the poorest schools in the city. DCPS partners with a local non-profit, The Literacy Lab, to develop the curriculum. The district provided training for the fellowships last summer and hosted weekly professional development sessions throughout the year. Nearly all the fellows graduated high school last year, but Cooper has his bachelor's degree and is pursuing his master's.

The Leading Men Fellowship program was created to address two different problems. First, it increases the number of males of color in early education, secondly — it helps reduce the gap in language development for preschoolers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3131

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9) How to Become a Teacher in Lots of Steps
Training for the profession of teaching, even in 1971, was not the easiest major to enter at Michigan State. When I transferred from Central Michigan as a junior, I was headed into secondary education, as I mentioned in my initial blog entry. After the first term, I decided to switch my major to elementary after several conversations with my oldest brother and his wife, both of whom were teachers. After applying to do so, I had to prove some sort of ability, interest and dedication to the career. Not to mention just how much I personally liked the little ones and how I interacted with them. The anticipated switch began with "Ed 101A", an intro to elementary teaching. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3135

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10) Editorial: Amazing Mentors in Your Building
It began with humor and the connection with every student and colleague. Mr. Greg Lenn is an amazing teacher, father, husband, colleague, friend, and mentor. For over 20 years, Greg has given back to many people in his role as second grade teacher at Malone Elementary School in Prescott, Wisconsin. This past school year he chose to enter a new arena as Dean of Students in our elementary school that became a K-2 building after being a K-5 building for many years. This left me with some concerns about being the only male teacher in our building this year. However, even though Greg's role changed, he continues to serve as a mentor to me. We still begin our days together as I stop into his office early mornings to discuss various topics such as modifications to student behavior or ways to handle difficult parent conversations properly and respectfully. Whether our conversations are school related or not, they always connect back to teaching. Greg is a great role model and mentor because he is kind, dedicated, reliable, and approachable. He is willing to listen and not be afraid to let you know if he doesn't have the answer at the time of your question. Greg consistently follows up to share his findings. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/3133

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