MenTeach E-News - April 2020

MenTeach: COVID-19 has changed the way we interact, especially as teachers. How are you coping with the changes? Is your center or program still open? Send us an e-mail so we can share what is happening throughout the world.

1) What is it like to be a male teacher in early education?
2) Summit for male students of color discusses the difficulties they face in going to college — and finishing
3) Black Male Educators In St. Louis Have A Formula For Boosting Their Numbers
4) Why Men of Color Like Me Are Leaving the Classroom
5) History: The Teacher Corps (1966)
6) Nursery Management: International - Men of the world
7) Half of Gloucestershire primary schools have no male teachers
8) Does the childcare field have gender discrimination?
9) Virginia educator wins 2019 National Teacher of the Year
10) Letter: More men needed in early childhood education

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1) What is it like to be a male teacher in early education?
One early childhood educator said he wanted to be a male role model for children. Others were drawn to teaching after becoming fathers. Several said they like teaching young children because it allows them to make a difference in their communities. These are just a few of the responses researchers received from a survey of male early childhood educators, the results of which were released recently by a team from the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/3492

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2) Summit for male students of color discusses the difficulties they face in going to college — and finishing
Education professor J. Luke Wood has spent years researching and talking about the challenges male students of color have in pursuing and attaining a college diploma — family income, social stigmas, complicated experiences in elementary and high school.

On Wednesday, he shared what he's learned with about 80 students from 10 area community colleges gathered for Elgin Community College's first-ever men of color summit.

"It shows them it's not them," Wood said of the summit's purpose. "A lot of times how oppression works is it makes you feel like there is something wrong with you, that you're not doing something right.

"You begin to think it is you, that the problem is you," he said. "When you start to realize that it is not you, I think there's a sense of empowerment that comes with it."

ECC officials invited Wood, an education professor at San Diego State University, to headline Wednesday's summit. Besides teaching, Wood is the co-director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab, a national research center that studies the factors affecting boys and men of color in their pursuit of education, graduation and diplomas. The group has compiled findings based on data and training partnerships with more than 150 schools, colleges and universities.

Wood shared some of the assessment lab's key findings at Wednesday's event. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3496

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3) Black Male Educators In St. Louis Have A Formula For Boosting Their Numbers
Darryl Diggs Jr. only had two African American male educators in his school years.

He met the first one, a physical education teacher, in grade school — and then another, a physiology teacher, in high school. At college, he only had one black male professor.

Today, Diggs, 37, finds himself in a similar position. An assistant principal in Manchester at Parkway South High School  for eight years, he's the only black administrator in his district.

"I didn't really realize it until I was invited to go speak to some elementary school kids, and it dawned on me that these young kids would not have a person of color — specifically a male person of color — to be their teacher, even after they have graduated through their normal track from elementary, middle to high school," Diggs said.

Over the course of 13 years in the field, Diggs said he noticed that some students will reach high school without ever being exposed to a teacher of color. According to the U.S. Department of Education, out of about 3 million educators, minority teachers amount to just 20%, and, of that number, black male teachers only represent 2% of all educators. Read the article or listen to the Podcast: http://menteach.org/node/3498

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4) Why Men of Color Like Me Are Leaving the Classroom
I had never taught Tatiana before. Yet, after a Latinx student meeting in Oakland, the 12th grader unexpectedly embraced me, sobbing: “You’re the first Mexican teacher I’ve seen at this school; I just wanted to say thank you.”

Translation: I’ve never seen someone like you in a position of academic importance.

I understood Tatiana. In my years as a student in Bay Area schools from kindergarten through high school, I only had one male teacher of color amid a stampede of mostly white women. This isn’t just a Bay Area problem, of course. My nine-year teaching career has allowed me to work with hundreds of diverse students from Louisiana to Massachusetts to California, but despite mostly Black, Brown, and Asian student populations, I’ve never worked with a male teaching colleague who was a person of color. Read his story: http://www.menteach.org/node/3500

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5) History: The Teacher Corps (1966)

In a recent article in March 2020 "[Warren] Farrell has also recommended to the White House a Male Teacher Corps — giving scholarships to men to become elementary school teachers in exchange for serving at least two years as one. He found that children most in jeopardy go from mom-only homes to female teachers in elementary school or nursery school. An astounding 95% of elementary school teachers are women. Boys who don’t have male role models that are constructive are vulnerable to male role models who are destructive — like gang leaders and drug dealers. In his research for The Boy Crisis, Farrell uncovered nine differences between male and female styles of parenting. The children who do the best have what he calls “checks-and-balance parenting.” Boy Crisis. Read the original article from 1966: http://www.menteach.org/node/3501

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6) Nursery Management: International - Men of the world
Achieving real gender balance in the early years continues to flummox countries across the world. On average in OECD countries, just 3.2 per cent of pre-primary teachers are male, with the rate lower than 1 per cent in most of Eastern Europe, Israel and Portugal.

Despite a 20 per cent minimum target for male workers set by the European Commission in 1996, the proportion of male staff in the workforce remains persistently low across the globe, with only three countries – Norway, Denmark and Turkey – managing over 5 per cent.

Even world-leader Norway seems to be stalling in its progress, hovering just below the 10 per cent mark.

In the UK just 3 per cent of the workforce is male. 'If I likened it to going up Everest, I'd say we have probably established base camp,' says David Wright, who chaired a UK task and finish group to address the challenge of recruiting and retaining men in the sector.

Mr Wright, co-owner of Paint Pots Nurseries in Southampton, says the main barriers preventing more men from working in childcare are often:

Pay, status and the idea of men as breadwinners.

Potential to be the targets of allegations of abuse/paedophilia.

Isolation – it can be difficult to be in the tiny minority of colleagues and difficult to get hired if those working in the sector naturally employ people who are similar to them.

The OECD report Good Practice for Good Jobs in Early Childhood Education and Care recommends running information and awareness campaigns targeted at potential male applicants, recruiters, parents and the wider public; establishing networking, mentoring and peer-to-peer support schemes; or even considering affirmative action in the hiring process.

Several countries have attempted these approaches at a local or a governmental level. However, different countries vary significantly in their views of the role of men, whether in their early years settings or in society more widely. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3510

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7) Half of Gloucestershire primary schools have no male teachers
Half of all primary schools in Gloucestershire have no male teachers.

New analysis of school workforce figures has revealed that 52 primary schools in Gloucestershire have an all-female teaching staff.

Excluding schools where the gender split of teachers is not available, that works out as 50 per cent of all primaries in our area.

Experts say that the lack of male representation in the classroom is due to the perceived low status of primary school roles, and the lower pay that can go hand in hand with this.

They argue that having more male teachers gives children male role models and helps them achieve their full potential.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU (National Education Union), said: "Schools are essential services in the community, and they should reflect that community.

"Not everyone has what it takes to be a great primary teacher, but whether you can do it isn't to do with whether you're male or female. Read the article: http://menteach.org/node/3512

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8) Does the childcare field have gender discrimination?
Upon walking into a childcare facility, the majority of the teachers employed will be female. The ratio of men working in a childcare program compared to females is heavily skewed.

Wright State University student Jacob Shaw has worked with children for most of his life.

He currently holds a position at a local childcare center as he pursues his bachelor of science in Elementary Education.

"I think that it is still fairly uncommon to have a male teacher with young kids, especially at a childcare facility," said Shaw. "I can tell that some of the parents don't know how to react, especially with some of the younger children. I've had parents give me strange looks when they walk in and see me in the room and have even asked me before if they were allowed to leave their child with me."

There are requirements to work in a childcare program according to both state guidelines and per each center's rules, none of which include limitations on gender. Capability and experience are the basis to work with children.

That does not mean that there aren't other ways to avoid treating employees equally in the workplace. Read the story: http://menteach.org/node/3514

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9) Virginia educator wins 2019 National Teacher of the Year
Rodney Robinson, a 19-year teaching veteran who became a teacher to honor his mother and who struggled to receive an education after being denied one as a child due to segregation and poverty in rural Virginia, was named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Robinson, who teaches at Virgie Binford Education Center, which is a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Justice Center, was commended by CCSSO for creating "a positive school culture by empowering his students – many of whom have experienced trauma – to become civically-minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities."

Robinson told the National Education Association that he looks forward to helping lead a conversation about the students whom he calls "the most vulnerable in society" and how the nation can address the school-to-prison-pipeline that has pushed too many kids out of school.

"This year, I hope to be the voice for my students and all students who feel unseen, unheard, unappreciated and undervalued in America," Robinson said.

Read his story: http://menteach.org/node/3516

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10) Letter: More men needed in early childhood education in Canada
I am a second-year student in the early childhood education program at Lambton College and want to address the lack of men in the field.

I believe more men want to get in this field but feel the stigma is pushing them away. They should be welcomed and wanted in caregiving positions.

According to the College of Early Childhood Educators, 1.4 per cent of registered ECEs are male.

According to many researchers, the main reasons are because of the wage and stereotypes that may follow a male in a caregiving position. Men feel they will not make enough money to support a household as the wage for an ECE position is not very high.

Also, the fear of accusations of being a predator may follow a male in this profession, which is very unfair and wrong. We should be working to change both of these problems. Read the letter to the editor: http://www.menteach.org/node/3517

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