Acclaimed authour, JM Coetzee received an honorary doctorate from Wits University, in The Great Hall on the university campus. Coetzee, a double recipient of the Booker Prize and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, received a Doctor of Literature degree.
There's plenty of discussion about the need for more black/Latino males becoming teachers, capped by a recent discussion by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in which he promoted a program (TEACH) to help improve those numbers. In Jacksonville, FL, for instance, The Achieve Instill Inspire Foundation is looking to encourage more black males as teachers across the state by supplementing their education degrees.
One of the things I cherish about my husband is his abiding concern for young children. When I was still so-not-ready to have babies, all my attention going to being as big in the world as I could possibly be, he was working on a project in the schools to help young children respond creatively to conflict. Then he took a job in a little cooperative nursery school in our neighborhood, steadily building his skills and experience.
Something about our visit to the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative a couple of weeks ago stuck with me, and it's only recently that my percolating thoughts on the matter have condensed into something bloggable. During the welcome presentation, a gentleman from the board of DSNI (or possibly DSNCS) came in to say hi. He spoke briefly but warmly. On the way out he turned and added: "And by the way. Fellas. Where you at?
Children benefit from having role models from both genders. That's why, several years ago, the United States joined the many nations that launched campaigns to convince more men to become public school teachers. The effort was needed. In 2008, according to the National Education Association, the percentage of men in teaching hit a 40-year low of 25 percent and stayed there.
MenTeach: One of the occupational hazards of working with children is the possibility of being falsely accused. It was one of three reasons why men don't stay with or start teaching (see our research).
I have worked in education full time now for 33 years. Prior to that while training to be an archaeologist, I often helped out in my wife’s preschool. Also during down times in the field I would go back to work with the little ones. I enjoyed it; they enjoyed it; it was the proverbial “win-win”. They only thing that bothered me was that preschool didn’t pay much – minimum wage was common, no matter what your educational background. Of course at that time in the 70s archaeology didn’t pay that well either so I wasn’t losing much.
Bryan G. Nelson has worked with young children, men, fathers and families since the 1980s. He is founding director of www.MenTeach.org and serves as faculty at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. He is also a co-facilitator of the World Forum’s Men in Early Childhood Education project. He has received various awards including a fellowship to attend Harvard University to research men, fathers and children.
As of 2011, women teachers accounted for 75.8 percent in the nation's primary schools, 66.8 percent in middle schools and 46.2 percent in high schools. These figures represent significant rise in the presence of female teachers at primary and secondary schools since a decade ago, when the respective figures were 68 percent, 59 percent and 35 percent.
Ask someone about Title IX and he or she is likely to tell you that it has to do with girls and sports. Ask many educators this question, and you are likely to receive a similar (but far windier) answer. Title IX was legislation passed in 1972 that reads: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal assistance."
Perhaps those who are surprised think it strange for a man to be going into teaching young children. That is valid, as there are not many male teachers. But the idea that men are not as suited for teaching as women is a cop-out.
I find this notion similar to the expectation that female doctors are somehow inferior, despite going through all the same training that their male counterparts have seen. Even though both viewpoints are remarkably narrow-minded, they are shared, whether consciously or subconsciously, by many.
“You’ll be on your knees by half term” a teacher told me today. I’m not sure if she meant exhausted or begging to keep my job. I seem to be in constant motion, if I wore regulation male teacher clothing I’d resemble a beige blur. I’ve developed a kind of speed walk, not fast enough so I could be accused of running in the corridor and setting a bad example, but a kind of lolloping quick step powered by my long, rangy legs.
by Will Scott - Third Year Medical Student and JCR Vice President at Queens' College, Cambridge
The recent statistics released by the General Teaching Council for England on the number of male teachers in schools, particularly primary schools, are concerning. While there has been a small (0.6%) increase in the number of primary schools that have at least one male teacher, over a quarter (27.2%) still do not. Overall, only 12% of primary school teachers are male.
by David Gray, Director, Workforce and Family Program at the New America Foundation
Today at the New America Foundation in Washington we held an event on child care policy in the context of the President's recent Race to the Top challenge grant. 170 people RSVPed for the event. 141 watched on the internet. 119 attended in person. However, counting myself, there were only 6 men at the event. 6 men out of 119 attending. That is a stunning statistic. It is also a significant problem for child care as a political issue.
MenTeach.org: Our work has exploded because of the internet. More and more men can reach out and hear from other men. In particular you can see other men and women videotaping and then posting interviews of men teaching. It's hopeful and inspiring - it helps to mitigate one of the biggest obstacles for men entering and staying in the profession - isolation.
A new book by Lemuel W. Watson and C. Sheldon Woods, Go Where You Belong: Male Teachers as Cultural Workers in the Lives of Children, Families, and Communities is available. "The purpose of this book is to continue the dialogue about the importance of men in the lives of young children and the teaching profession.
We're attending the 2011 World Forum Conference in Hawai'i where there is a large network of men and women that want more men to teach. It's been an interesting gathering. I've realized that we have really moved a long way from when I first began working on this efforts.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is on a mission: He wants to tour several historically black colleges and speak directly with African-American male students about teaching in the nation's public schools.
It's a bold and unprecedented initiative - and comes at a critical time for black America.
In a piece called "Do We Need More Male Teachers?" she wrote, "If you believe, as I do, that teaching (and teaching well) is as important a job as any, then it is equally important that young people see both men and women actively involved."
More lucrative occupations, cutbacks in salaries, fear of harassment charges, and possible parent bias against them are driving men from the K-12 teaching field. But the unseen culprit in this demise could be seniority.