MenTeach E-News - September 2015

MenTeach E-News
September 2015

1) Career-changers becoming science teachers at Clarke's Cedar Shoals High School
2) Air Force veterans transition to new careers as teachers
3) Young male teachers buck long-time trend
4) The Percentage of Black Teachers Declined in Nine U.S. Cities. That’s a Big Problem.
5) 2015 Conference in Norway: Boys and Girls in No Man's Land
6) LA Schools have a severe lack of black and Asian male teachers
7) What's behind the shortage of male teachers?
8) How one principal is trying to get more black men into the classroom
9) Editorial: The Power of Feedback - Lesson Learned
10) Nonprofit Works to Improve Teacher Diversity

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1) Career-changers becoming science teachers at Clarke's Cedar Shoals High School
Three young career changers are getting a competitive education at a Clarke County high school this school year, but the main beneficiaries might be students at Cedar Shoals High School.

The career changers are three Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows, who are learning how to teach. All are people with backgrounds or recent graduates in one of the so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and each won a highly competitive fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship for the year’s training.

Each committed to work for three years in a school or schools, like Cedar Shoals, where the need is greatest for STEM teachers.

This is the first year the foundation awarded fellowships in Georgia. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2700

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2) Air Force veterans transition to new careers as teachers
James Huntley and Gregg Shapiro are not traditional student teachers. Both are veterans of the U.S. Air Force, who were stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, and family men in their 30s and 40s.

When the two complete student teaching and finish their studies at University of South Carolina Sumter through the USC Upstate Teacher Education Program in December, they will join another category. They will be among about 17 percent of elementary and middle school teachers who are males across the country.

Huntley, 44, and Shapiro, 32, are two of four males on the faculty at Willow Drive Elementary School, where they're doing their student teaching.

"We understand there is a shortage of male teachers, especially on the elementary school level," Huntley said. "Children need strong male role models, especially those growing up without a father in their home." Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2703

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3) Young male teachers buck long-time trend
Kevin Murphy, 24, was pulled to a career in education thanks to math classes he had at St. Vincent Pallotti High.

Steve Mitsak, 29, became interested in teaching when he learned he could major in physical education at the University of Maryland after he was originally interested in journalism.

Devon Lesniak, 25, played high school sports and knew when he entered McDaniel College that he wanted to go into education.

Murphy is now teaching at Pallotti, Mitsak teaches physical education at Montpelier Elementary and Lesniak is a full-time physical education teacher at Bond Mill Elementary.

While all three are teaching at Laurel schools, they have something else in common —— they are young males in a profession dominated by female teachers. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2704

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4) The Percentage of Black Teachers Declined in Nine U.S. Cities. That’s a Big Problem.
A study released Wednesday by the American Federation of Teachers found that, just as American schools are getting more and more segregated, teachers in several major American cities, including the nation’s three largest school districts, are getting progressively less diverse, particularly when it comes to black teachers.

Nationwide, the percentage of nonwhite teachers increased from 12 to 17 percent between 1987 and 2012, but the minority population of students has increased at a much faster rate. Minority students now constitute more than half of the public school student population in the United States, up from 31 percent in 1993 and 41 percent in 2003.

“The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education,” released Wednesday by the American Federation of Teachers–affiliated Albert Shanker Institute, studied teacher hiring and retention patterns in nine major U.S. cities—Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—and concluded that achieving the ideal of teacher diversity remains an uphill slog. “As a general rule,” the report found, minority teachers—especially minority male teachers—are underrepresented in these urban workforces, with substantial representation gaps between minority teachers and minority students. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2708

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5) 2015 Conference in Norway: Boys and Girls in No Man's Land
Many children will never encounter a male employee in their early years of care and education. Does it matter? Asker municipality in Norway has labored for many years to increase the number of men in childcare. It is our belief that children should be entitled to meet both men and women as teachers and caregivers.

To this end, we will be hosting an international conference in Asker 21-22 October 2015.  Read the announcement: http://www.menteach.org/node/2684

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6) LA Schools have a severe lack of black and Asian male teachers
Los Angeles Unified School District represents a “rare bright spot” in hiring of minority teachers in both district and charter schools, according to a study released yesterday from the Albert Shanker Institute comparing nine urban school districts.

The study shows that as schools are getting higher levels of minority students, there are fewer minority teachers, resulting in some segregation. The study examined school districts in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

The study showed in Los Angeles that white and Asian teachers were overrepresented and that the number of black teachers was in parity to the percentage of black students. The district showed a slight increase in Asian teachers between 2002 and 2011 and “meaningfully large increase” in the percentage of Hispanic teachers (about 7 percent). Even so, the gap between Hispanic teachers and percentage of students still remained large despite the increase in Hispanic teachers. See the graph and story: http://menteach.org/node/2711

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7) What's behind the shortage of male teachers?
New research by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) of ABS Labour Force data has revealed that for the last 20 years as few as one in five Australian primary school teachers have been male.

The ACU reviewed the country's most populous states and found that in 2014:
 
16 per cent of NSW primary school teachers were men
18 per cent of Victorian primary school teachers were men
15 per cent of Queensland primary school teachers were men.

ACU associate professor, Dr Philip Riley, told The Educator that while the reasons behind a lack of male teachers vary, the combination of a rise in contract employment and the perception of teaching as a gendered role are major contributing factors.

"The rise of contract employment means people are thinking twice about both entering and staying in teaching," Riley told The Educator.

"The more a profession is perceived as gendered the more it becomes so. When jobs – such as nursing – are seen as predominantly female they tend to become devalued and low status which affects men more than women. Read his story: http://menteach.org/node/2713

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8) How one principal is trying to get more black men into the classroom
Educators and policy wonks of many stripes pretty much agree that U.S. classrooms need more minority teachers.

But how to make that happen?

One Philadelphia principal is trying to do his part by launching a new organization that aims to bring together Philly’s black male educators and provide them with professional support to thrive in their jobs. The group, called The Fellowship, also wants to become a hub for the recruitment and retention of black men in education.

Black men account for just two percent of the nation’s teaching workforce.

“We want to be able to affect policy as well as practice,” said Sharif El-Mekki, the principal of Mastery Charter School’s Shoemaker campus in southwest Philadelphia, not far from where El-Mekki grew up. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/2715

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9) Editorial: The Power of Feedback - Lesson Learned
The purpose of feedback is to provide information for someone’s performance to a task. Feedback is extremely useful for a student teacher because it offers insight from a more experienced teacher that can see situations from a different perspective. I am currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stout enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program. From my courses, to hours working in the lab with children, to my pre-student teaching experience, I have observed that men and women in the program differ greatly in how they receive and use the feedback to increase their knowledge and practice regarding early childhood education.

Male Feedback
While I was growing up, certain values were taught to me at an early age that supposedly represented the “ideal” man. Toughness and grit were considered the highest priority of values for me to learn in order to become a man. These values were taught over and over again in athletics and the work force.  In learning these values I was told to not question authority but to commit completely to whoever was in charge.  For example, in athletics that meant listening to the coach for instructions.  If the coach would say “on the line” for wind sprints, I knew to sprint to the line and be ready to run. That was a part of being a member of the team and a man who was learning how to be tough.  Through this experience I began to learn what mutual respect was if I walked to the line the coach would blow the whistle and make the team run double. At this stage, I was also taught not to show emotions in athletics. If the team won an important game we were told to not celebrate loudly because of sportsmanship. If we lost a big game we were taught to not cry on the field and toughen up.  However, we were allowed to cry in a hidden hallway or back in the locker room if we were not capable of keeping it together. But once we left that hidden place, we were supposed to swallow the sadness and anger and walk with our chin up. I was being taught that emotions were not allowed if you wanted to be a tough man. Read his editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2717

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10) Nonprofit Works to Improve Teacher Diversity
A Charlottesville-based nonprofit is working to increase the diversity of teachers in Albemarle County and Charlottesville public schools.

According to the African American Teaching Fellows (AATF) there is only one minority teacher for every 122 students in both the city and county.

AATF has so far helped 32 people become teachers during their 10 years as a nonprofit.

Joseph Price attended Sutherland Middle School and graduated from Albemarle High School. He's one of the most recent fellows, and is now in his first year of teaching at Sutherland.

While in school, the fellows are each given $5,000 per year, in exchange they agree to teach for at least two years in the city or county.

The organization also continues to support the fellows with leadership and professional development programs.

"I think that it's important for the classroom to represent our community. There is a need for male teachers, I believe, and African-American teachers in the field of education," Price said. Go to website: http://www.menteach.org/node/2718

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