MenTeach E-News - September 2017

MenTeach E-News
September 2017

1) Male teachers still the minority in Western Australian schools
2) Defying assumptions but teaching with passion in India
3) The Repercussions of the Black Teacher Shortage
4) Concern for vulnerable children as proportion of male teachers drops in Australia
5) Commentary: What boys need in the classroom — a few good men
6) Teacher's Day: Sir is not in class in India
7) 2016 Winners of the NAEYC M.E.N. Interest Forum Awards
8) History Lesson: Public school teachers - Legacy of low pay and little respect
9) Few in number, male teachers play big role
10) Editorial: Oh, the Places We Will Go – Read this!

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1) Male teachers still the minority in Western Australian schools
ulian Hofsink didn't think twice about his gender when he applied to study a Bachelor of Secondary Education at the University of Canberra.

But the second-year student will be in the minority should he work in ACT schools once he finishes his degree.

The number of men teaching in Canberra schools has hovered around 22 per cent since 2012. The figure is slightly higher in non-government schools, sitting near 30 per cent.

The thought of being outnumbered doesn't bother Mr Hofsink, whose father, Erik, is principal at Emmaus Christian School.

"I've had equally good and bad male and female teachers," the younger Mr Hofsink said.

"It purely comes down to the person." Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3198

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2) Defying assumptions but teaching with passion in India
The concept that "Kindergarten teachers are always female" is a gender stereotype that a young male teacher at The Maple Tree School, Dimapur has defied. Imnawapang Changkiri has been working as a full-time kindergarten teacher for five years.

This young man has earned the love and admiration of many people over the years. He shared with us that when he first joined Maple Tree School, Dimapur he did not expect to teach lower classes. But the school authorities were very encouraging and asked him to give it a try. "I'm so glad I agreed. Because I found out that I really enjoy teaching little kids. This led me to take Nursery Teachers Training (NTT) at Capital College, Kohima," he said.

Sharing his teaching approach, he said, "I've learnt that to teach kids, we need to first learn from them- learn their behavior and what is on their mind. Only after that we can start to teach them. Also, we have to make them happy first so that they are willing to learn." Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3200

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3) The Repercussions of the Black Teacher Shortage
A recent study found that black students who have at least one black teacher do better in school. Making policy around this research is complicated.

Ashley McCall was teaching her third grade students about American voting rights last year when one of them asked a question she couldn't answer: How do older people of color process the evolution of the right to vote?

McCall, a black teacher whose student body is mostly of color, asked her own grandparents to do a video conference with the class. They fielded students' vibrant inquiries about having lived in the south during the civil rights era.

"It was awesome," says McCall.

McCall says her identity has been crucial for her students at César E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center on the south side of Chicago.

"Having teachers of color allows students to see people who look like them in positions of influence," she says. "Students believe they can assume their own roles of authority." Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3201

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4) Concern for vulnerable children as proportion of male teachers drops in Australia
Men are becoming a token presence in our children's schools. In 2016 fewer than one in five primary school teachers were men and if the current rate of decline continues male teachers will be extinct by 2050.

Tim Clark taught English and media in Melbourne for three years immediately after leaving university. After a break of six years he went back to teaching but left again four years later.

He said his reasons for leaving were personal as much as professional.

"Stress-related breakdown, frustration with bureaucracy, lack of support from leadership, demanding parents, poor training and no self-care were the things that drove me away from teaching," he said. "When teachers don't look after themselves, it's invariably the students who end up paying for it." Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3205

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5) Commentary: What boys need in the classroom — a few good men
It's only the second month of school and Ernesto has already cussed me out several times. He learned to protect himself in the school of hard knocks, where daily lessons involve neglect, abuse, and distrust from the adults in his life. His father left him when he was young, and his mother worked multiple jobs to support him and his younger brother. Underneath the tough exterior, however, I know there is a great 12-year-old kid.

All of last year, Ernesto and I had a tumultuous relationship. One day, he would drop expletives-laced diatribes, and the next day he would ask for my help. Every time, Ernesto tested my ability to forgive.

Unfortunately, there are too many Ernestos in our classrooms across the country. Boys who, without knowing how, beg for help, support, and attention. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3207

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6) Teacher's Day: Sir is not in class in India
f I am your class teacher, I know everything about you. I am supposed to," says Tathagata Dutta. Only minutes ago, the 31-year-old English teacher at The Shri Ram School, Gurgaon, had given a quick demonstration of those skills. Walking past a student in her football jersey, he had softly asked: "So, whom did you lose to?" "What do you mean? How do you know?" she had squealed, stunned that Dutta already knew that minutes ago, the school team had lost an inter-school match.

After that briefly triumphal moment, Dutta settles down to talk about what it feels to be a "minority" at the workplace. Dutta, class teacher of X G, says he is among eight male teachers in the senior staffroom of over a 100, a numerical disadvantage he tackles by "being asexual in the classroom".

"I tell my students, both boys and girls, that I am their first port of call. And that they can reach out to me, whatever their problems. I talk to them like any class teacher, man or woman, would. So, if I think the skirts are getting too short, for instance, I would point that out. Or, if there is, say, PDA happening, I call out: 'No Chipko movement here'. If you are uncomfortable about a male teacher telling you that, and if that helps resolve the situation, great," says Dutta, an Arsenal fan who admits to sharing notes on the football team with his students. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3210

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7) 2016 Winners of the NAEYC M.E.N. Interest Forum Awards
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Men in Education Network (M.E.N.) Interest Forum gives out two awards each year at the national conference. The first is the Champion for Men and Children Award which goes to a man, woman or organization that has made significant contribution to furthering our efforts to increase the number of men working with children. The recipient does not work directly with children. The second award is the Leader of Men and Children Award and goes to a man that works directly with children and has made significant contribution to furthering the efforts to increase the number of men working with children. The man must currently be working directly with children. See who won last year's awards. 2017 Nominations are open for the NAEYC conference in Atlanta: http://menteach.org/node/3214

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8) History Lesson: Public school teachers - Legacy of low pay and little respect
The number of men increased for a while, in the late 1800's, but educators became alarmed in 1908 at the rate they were leaving the profession. A report published that year in the Winona Normal Bulletin stated:

"The number of men in public school service has so decreased that in this country at present less than ten boys in 100 ever come in contact with a man teacher." In 1880 in Minnesota, the report pointed out, 36 percent of total teachers were men, and in 1906, only 6 percent."

Arguing for an increase in men teachers, the bulletin quoted an article, written by the New York City Male Teachers Association: "We hold that, in the nature of things, the man can most effectively influence the boy. If the boy is to be prepared for contact with the world, he should in school come under the direct forceful control of a man."

The Winona Bulletin article hastened to add, however, "No intelligent person questions the immense value of women's work in education." Read the history article: http://menteach.org/node/3217

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9) Few in number, male teachers play big role
Dubois County doesn't have many male elementary school teachers — a reality that is common throughout the country.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by nonprofit MenTeach, only about 19 percent of elementary teachers in the U.S. were men in 2015, a number that hadn't grown much more than 2 percent since 2002. Only about 8 percent of teachers are men in Dubois County public elementary schools.

And while the men who teach in area elementaries aren't exactly sure how to increase that percentage, they do believe they have a unique responsibility to their schools and their students. From being a positive male role model to diversifying instruction styles, the guys know their role in education is important in helping their students grow.

Not counting administrators and maintenance staff, just four men work as teachers at the three Greater Jasper elementary schools, none of whom work at Fifth Street School. Five males have teaching jobs and one has an assistant position at Huntingburg and Holland elementaries. Dubois Elementary has one male teacher, and Celestine Elementary has none. No men teach at Ferdinand Elementary, either, and Pine Ridge Elementary has only one male teacher. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3221

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10) Editorial: Oh, the Places We Will Go – [MenTeach: A MUST READ!!]
Another year has begun and the excitement of students returning to campus has been refreshing and hopeful. There is nothing like a break away from our daily routines to engage in purposeful reflection resulting in a rejuvenated spirit. This renewed attitude makes me wonder about the places we will go!

One topic I reflected upon this summer involved the MEN in Education Student Organization here on campus. It is hard to believe that five years ago the organization was formed! At that time, the founders (one young man in early childhood education and myself) envisioned the organization as a support group for men in the early childhood program. The intent was to utilize the group to retain men in the early childhood program and to recruit more males into early education. Throughout these years we, as leaders of the organization, have learned three valuable lessons; 1) not to exclude women, 2) offer membership to men in other majors with a predominant female population such as Family and Consumer Science, Human Development, and Science Education, and 3) to be flexible and open to change. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/3218

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