[MenTeach] E-News - June 2013

Newsletter about men teachers newsletter at menteach.org
Mon Jul 1 07:34:58 CDT 2013


MenTeach E-News
June 2013

1) Advocates say schools need more male teachers
2) Hoping Black male teachers make a difference
3) Canadian School trustee calls for study on male teachers
4) My Quest to Teach: African American Men and Teaching
5) South Carolina has 1st male Head Start teacher of the year.
6) Teacher of Year Davis tries to meet students where they are
7) Letter: I'm interested in teaching young children
8) Men’s Stories: Mr. Matty (Matthew Proctor)
9) Movie: Children of Life
10) Successful Gathering at a Conference in Winnipeg, Canada


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1) Advocates say schools need more male teachers
Rick Hall's third-grade classroom has a boy's touch.

In the back corner, a wooden fort covered in camouflage netting provides a quiet haven for reading. The students — all boys — dress in camo shirts, athletic gear and gelled hair. In their writing assignments, they pen stories about bloody shark attacks. On the book shelves, Sports Illustrated for Kids sits inches away from Dr. Seuss.

While studying math, some sit quietly at their desks. But others stand up during lessons. Some even walk in place or sway back and forth while looking over their work.

And in this class, nicknamed "Band of Brothers," that's OK. Read the entire article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2175 

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2) Hoping Black male teachers make a difference
Spend an hour at Maya Angelou Public Charter Middle School and you immediately notice something's different. There's an abundance of Black men and they're not just custodians or security.

“We are the counselors, the teachers and the principal here,” explains La'Mont Geddis, the school's head man in charge. “Students see us in different positive roles. Black men can do anything and that's the message we get across to our students. People died for me to become a principal and I'm it.”

“When we're not in the classroom, we're allowing others to teach our children. That's our job. We have to bring back the fact that we are our children's first teacher. Teaching is a ministry. We change lives. We rebuild structure in the classroom that may not be at home. We teach manners and culture. We teach respect.”

Something's different at Maya Angelou. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2195 

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3) Canadian School trustee calls for study on male teachers
Not long after public school board trustee Mike Ramsay raised concerns that male teachers are vastly under-represented in elementary schools, emails began to flood his inbox.

“The response was overwhelming,” said the Waterloo Region District School Board trustee.

Although the issue has been on Ramsay’s radar for nearly two decades, even he wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emails and calls from men who said they couldn’t get hired at local elementary schools.

“I was quite taken aback,” he said. “Everyone has a story.”

Some say their female counterparts were getting jobs ahead of them, while others gave up looking and moved away to find teaching positions, Ramsay added. Read the full article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2196 

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4) My Quest to Teach: African American Men and Teaching
The recent news reports about the lack of African American teachers has caused concern that men are not choosing the profession of education. As an African American teacher at an elementary school and third generation educator. I find that effectively teaching African American youth does not rest in having more African American male teachers present in the classroom as teachers and administrators, male teachers must have a passion to teach. Those men that accept the responsibility to embark on a career that requires creativity, patience, civic responsibility, morals, ethics and value of education. Reading “The Education of the Negro” (Carter G. Woodson) those of African American heritage that could read and write were missionary teacher among their people. Read his article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2198 

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5) South Carolina has 1st male Head Start teacher of the year.
When a young child can identify shapes, colors and numbers, it is like planting a seed to produce good fruit for head start teacher Marcus Tate.

Nurturing a seed carefully is a lesson he learned growing up while working on the farm with his grandfather in Cherokee County. Tate, a teacher at Piedmont Community Action's Z.L. Madden Head Start Center in Spartanburg, has transferred some of those gardening tips to the classroom.

His leadership and approach to learning are part of the reason he was named the South Carolina Head Start Teacher of the Year. Tate recently received the honor in Myrtle Beach at an annual spring training conference of the state Community Action Partnership and the state Head Start Association. The presentation was made during an awards banquet. Tate was selected from a field of 21 nominees representing Head Start and Early Head Start programs statewide and is the first man to win.

"It was very humbling and exciting," he said. "I was the only male nominated so when the woman announced the first male teacher of the year, everyone stood up and starting cheering. It was like being in an NBA game with the score tied and only five seconds to go and you shoot and there is silence, but when the ball goes through the hoop, everyone cheers."

He will now compete against other teachers for the Region IV title. If he wins the regional title, he will compete on the national level. Read the entire story: http://www.menteach.org/node/2199 

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6) Teacher of Year Davis tries to meet students where they are
Selling cellphones might seem to be a far cry from teaching young children, but Matt Davis, the Attalla school system elementary school teacher of the year, believes his business background is a big asset.

“Just like in the business world, you are constantly analyzing what your sales are, if your promotions are working or not,” said Davis, 45. “Well, that’s the same thing in teaching. You’re looking at where the kids are, if your strategies are working or not, how can you produce higher performance, just like in the business world. How can you produce higher profits?”

Davis has been teaching for 15 years and has been in the Attalla system for nine years.

“I’m used to being under pressure as far as meeting numbers, because in teaching you have to meet or beat your test score from the last year,” Davis said. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2202 

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7) Letter: I'm interested in teaching young children
As far as your inquiry as to how I found out about your site, I have recently been thinking of going back to college for possibly early childhood education either general or special ed students. The grade level that most interests me are the younger ages K-4th. I recently have even been considering becoming an educator at the day care level. I was simply doing a google search trying to find some resources and info on how to get into the field of teaching children and discovered your site. I can tell you it was quite a relief, it has been so frustrating and discouraging every time I look online and try to find something positive all I see are negative articles about how men are nothing but a threat to young children which is BS. I really wish that there wasn't so much negative press out there. Just by glancing at your site briefly for one day I can see that the truth is that men can and do make excellent teachers, and to deny children a chance to have male teachers in the class room at young ages just isn't right, and it's very sad that it is seen as such a taboo.  Read his entire letter: http://www.menteach.org/node/2203 

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8) Men’s Stories: Mr. Matty (Matthew Proctor)
My daughter has attended the Mesa Child Development Center (MCDC) since Summer 2011; she'll be leaving for kindergarten in the Fall. She told me that she doesn't want to go to kindergarten, because she'll miss Mr. Matty (Matthew Proctor), her teacher at MCDC. She said that although she'll turn 5 on her upcoming birthday, she wants to turn back to 4 on the next one! Matty has a similar effect on most of the children and parents at MCDC. When I arrived to pick up my daughter one day, I found her outside with 2 other children and Matty, all lying on the ground drawing pictures of a grasshopper they'd found and were watching. Read his story and watch his video: http://www.menteach.org/node/2205 

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9) Movie: Children of Life
Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students not only how to be students, but how to live. He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.

In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori.

He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.

Toshiro is an amazing example of what all teachers across the world should be like. He truly understands what teaching children is all about and certainly made a positive difference in the lives of these 10 year olds. Watch the free movie: http://www.menteach.org/node/2208 

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10) Successful Gathering at a Conference in Winnipeg, Canada
Just wanted to report that we had a wonderfully encouraging meeting here in Winnipeg. I've attached a picture for your viewing pleasure. In attendance were Toni & Robin Christie from New Zealand (WoFo friends) as well as Frances Carlson. Again there were many first time attenders in attendance and it was most interesting to hear how they processed what they all heard. It was all so positive and interesting and I'm so appreciative for all the support we got from our international friends. See the photo: http://www.menteach.org/node/2210 

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