Letters

Do men's brains change working with children?

[MenTeach: There has been a discussion about the article below on the ECEMen's List about whether the research about father's applies to male teachers? What do you think?]

Terry Bussey - first male teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba to win MCCA Award

Noreen Smyth - Winnipeg, Manitoba
I work in the field of Early Childhood Education here in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I thought you might be interested in knowing, we just finished our Manitoba Child Care Association's annual conference here. On the Friday evening there was an awards dinner. The award for Exceptional Early Childhood Educator of the Year was awarded to Terry Bussey.

Men & women gather in Canada

by Ron Blatz
Just finished the most wonderful gathering of the MECE group ever held by me in Canada. Thanks to the huge draw that Frances Carlson was, we had a group of over 25 people come to a meeting at my centre tonight.

First early educator nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

by Tom Bedard - early childhood educator
I thought I would let you know that I was one of 11 finalists for Teacher of the Year in Minnesota through Education Minnesota.

I was very surprised when I was nominated because I thought it was only for teachers in the k-12 system. The nomination came from a parent in our ECFE program who was a teacher in the St. Paul School system and knew about the program.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data can be misleading

[MenTeach.org: We receive many replies to the monthly E-News and this month someone wanted to point something out that could be misleading.]

The Department of Labor Statistics are misleading for men, particularly Black men.

Did you know Black men make up 1% of elementary school teachers in America.

The statistics lump men and women together. Time to be real on this fact!

MenTeach replies:

Turning trash into treasures - a man who recycles for children

Adam Buckingham - New Zealand
I have given a presentation at the 24th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management 'Turning waste into learning experiences for children' is a pictorial tour of creative ideas that have been added to the outdoor environment of early childhood centers. It includes innovative equipment I have designed and made for preschool children, which are predominantly made from solid waste materials.

Research Survey about male teachers

My name is Richard Patterson. I am currently a Graduate Student of The University of North Dakota.

To fulfill the requirements of my course work I am conducting a research study to identify perceptions and barriers that male educators working in early childhood education face. You are being invited to participate in a research study because you are a pre-service or in service educator, parent or guardian.

Tips for dealing with false accusations

by Anonymous
[MenTeach asked a teacher who was falsely accused what advice he would give other male teachers. You can read his story.]

My advice for teachers who are in similar situations:

Don't assume your employer will back you, even if they tell you that.

Insist on contacting the police and state officials...this is the law.

Get an attorney. if you do not have a union

If you have a union..join.

Your employer will want to cover themselves.

The challenges of false accusations

by BJ
I spoke with you a little over a year ago regarding a legal matter I was facing in Illinois. To briefly recap, it was a case involving allegations when I was a substitute/interim teacher in which some students alleged I had touched or rubbed their back (Read his previous published letter).

Being falsely accused by students seeking revenge

I recently read your article on MSN News. I am a late middle aged male middle school teacher (2nd career) with tenure in a large Urban district; 7 years experience; husband of a veteran teacher; I lead my middle school in TVASS test gains for subjects taught; also a Union member. Impeccable employment record and without any blemishes or criminal history.

I know why you picked an education major

by Joseph David Nowakowski Jr
I am a elementary education major (1-5) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Currently I am a junior and have completed my Praxis I exam. I will be graduating in the Spring of 2010 and simply cannot wait to teach young children. I heard about your organization from the article on msn.com "Percentage of Male Teachers Hits 40-year Low" and being as I am currently in college to become exactly that, I was hoping your organization to could help or assist me.

Looking for a teaching job?

by Clark Baker, Technology Director
I just read an article about your group. Unfortunately I hadn't heard about you and your mission before, but I think it's great. We work with a lot of employers who would like to hire more men in elementary schools.

SchoolSpring provides recruiting services to K-12 districts around the country. We also run the SchoolSpring.com web site which has the largest collection of education job postings in the country. We collect postings from dozens of state education job sites and make them available in one easy search.

One of our new members

Asher Lepage - grandchild of Ron Blatz from Winnipeg, Canada

Women supporting male teachers

by Ivy Rose Adame, Phillipines
I believe it is passion that pushed me to pursue an ECE Masters degree. I had ever since been
in love with teaching, especially little kids. It has simply become my inspiration.

This idea [thinking about the importance of male teachers] started when I had worked for an International school in Bangkok. There was an issue that concerned the assignment of qualified male teachers in the pre-school department.

Parents were not very keen about having male pre-school teachers, so they (parents) demanded from

Male Students Referred to Special Education More Than Female Students

by Greg Alexander
[MenTeach: We like to republish letters occassionally.]

My name is Gregory Alexander. I am a doctoral student at the University of Laverne in southern california. I am doing my dissertation on recruitment & retention strategies of men in special education, and its long term effects on special education.

I am a special education high school teacher and an adjunct professor at California State University San Bernardino and National University in the Special Education department.

Men helping children during disasters

by John Suur
[MenTeach: John Suur has been volunteering to offer child care services after diasters for many years. He is an attorney who retired from working at the World Bank and has worked with Toddlers for many years in his "retirement." You can read John's previous work at this link.]

A group where gender is a value and not an issue

by Tom Drummond - North Seattle Community College
I do want to share that Maggie Carter and local directors established a "conversations in the garden" last summer in response to their feeling that everything directors did in trying to make children's experiences better in the face of the external demands was too hard. The group felt they were continually climbing a sand hill.

Do you want to be a television star?

My name is Pamela and I'm a television producer in Los Angeles, working for the tv development company, Target Entertainment. I am currently doing research for a tv series in development about dads in daycare. I want men who have chosen child care as their full time profession, either in their home or at a facility. They can care for anywhere from 6 kids to 50. The candidates need to have big personalities, charisma, etc. that would lend themselves to having their own television show, as well.

It's like having four hundred grandkids

I am a retired Federal analyst. I retired at 55 with 32.5 years service (counting an Army stint). When I mentioned to a teacher friend/golfing buddy that I needed something to do, he suggested teaching school. Not wanting to work full time, I applied for a substitute teacher position and was hired.

My son had an amazing experience teaching

Montreal, Canada
My son, as he has told me, had an amazing experience working with children over the summer at the Daycare.

The children anticipated his arrival on the days he worked. I had never seen the educators have so much fun and be so involved in "rough play" as when he was there. One educator who has worked with me for the last 18 years said, she had a blast working with him, as he brought so much to the group.

Needless to say, I am very proud of my son. He seems to be a natural.

Now read her son's story.

Male teacher: Looking for a teaching job

Anonymous
[MenTeach: We receive letters from people asking for help. This letter is representative of the tight economy.]

I've taught in inner city Houston schools for 17 years, mostly grades 2-4. I then taught in a suburban public school for two years. For the past 1 1/2 years I've taught in a private theraputic boarding school for troubled youth, a job which I totally enjoyed. That school is now being closed dued to the economic downturn.

I'm running into not only the unofficial gender bias but the unofficial age bias. (I'm 56.)

Can you help my son be a teacher?

Anonymous
[MenTeach: We receive many, many e-mails asking for help. They are powerful messages about young men wanting to teach - either from their parents or the young men themselves. We usually receive hundreds of these inquiries - and we welcome them - after news reports. Here is one that we are posting anonymously.]

I was sitting watching Good Morning America today and the story about male teachers came on. It was grieving to think we are lossing our male teachers.

Discovery Channel looking for fathers

[MenTeach.org usually does not focus on fathers (even though many of us are fathers) because there are so many other sites and organization with a father focus. We thought we would make an exception since the original focus had been about male teachers.]

MenTeach has been talking with Discovery Channel and it turns out they are changing their focus of their documentary from men in child care to fathers:

False accusations hurt male teachers

Anonymous
I am actually on the verge of becoming a teacher, having completed my M. Ed. program and reached the student teaching stage. My certification is pre-K -- 6 and my goal is to teach upper elementary (3 - 5). I have worked off an on as a substitute teacher for several years, in between other full time jobs, and determined that I relate best (and am most effective) with 8- 9-10 year old kids. I am 50 years old and am transitioning from a long career in the non-profit sector.

A plea for help: Policies against touch

[MenTeach: We receive e-mails asking for help. What advice would you provide this man? Identifying information has been removed to protect the confidentiality of all staff.]

Hey fellas,

I have a question about a new policy my center is trying to put into place.

Loan Forgiveness Programs

by Stuart Cleinman
Having been in the field for a few decades, I have realized a few things:

1) We need more males.
2) We (males) will always be a small percentage, but hopefully will grow.
3) Salaries will remain low.

Seeking men for a research project

by Shaun Johnson - Indiana
Men in Education Research Project

A letter appreciating male teachers

Ruth & Paul _______
Winnipeg, MB
June 9, 2008
 
 
Dear Discovery Centre Staff,
Re: Alicia
 
It is with regret that I inform you that Alicia will no longer be attending Discovery Children's Centre after the last day of school, June 26th. We will be making arrangements for part-time home care in our school division area, as Alicia will be attending Bruce Middle School in September.
 

The Gender Gap

by Yasmini Vinci - Letter to the Editor - Boston Globe
DERRICK Z. JACKSON'S column on male teachers casts a light on the frequently overlooked issue of gender inequity among those who teach young children ("The value of the male schoolteacher," Op-ed, April 22). This imbalance is even more glaring in the early care and education field, with women constituting 97 percent of teachers of children under 5.
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