Men's Stories

Not a job, A passion

by Roger Neugebauer in Redmond, WA - USA
[MenTeach: Roger is co-publisher of the magazine Child Care Information Exchange and serves on the World Forum Foundation that is sponsoring the Men in Early Childhood Education Working Forum.]

How did you get started in this profession?

From trucking to teaching

by Wayne Erb - Education Gazette in New Zealand
Former truck driver Adam Buckingham reckons he has a few life skills that he can pass on to young children.

The Auckland man switched careers following a workplace accident and says that, after recuperating, he wanted to find a way to give more back to his community.

Adam had previously volunteered as a scout leader and had young children of his own, so teaching young children seemed like a good fit. Three years later, he hasn't looked back.

Mr. Mike's Legacy

by Jane Kokan, National Post in Nahrin, Afghanistan
The school that Mike Frastacky built has seven sturdy buildings with galvanized steel roofs and precise orange framing, surrounded by the barren mountains of northern Afghanistan's Baghlan province.

The children laughing in the playground walk here each morning from 10 villages. Enrolment is almost 700, depending on whether the rivers are swollen or the wheat and rice needs harvesting. More than half of the students are girls.

Student teacher in Germany

by Chad Fey - The in Newton, KS, USA
The trip home from his spring semester was a long one for Newton's Jeff Arellano, who graduated from Wichita State University this spring. His trip involved flying across the Atlantic Ocean after student teaching in Germany.

"I learned a lot," Arellano said. "It opened my eyes to the different range of students and different lifestyles of students."

Arellano chose to spend a semester of student teaching abroad, getting experience in both the elementary and high school settings during the week and traveling through Europe on the weekends.

First year teacher's success

by Lisa Liechner in Christiansburg, Virginia, USA
Last August, Dan began his first year teaching. When he came home the first day, he was pretty much wiped out and convinced that he wasn't cut out to be a teacher and should quit ... soon. Since Dan's not one to quit easily, it was a real shock that he was so set to give up. I emailed several people asking for prayers, and I also was practically on my knees most of the night in prayer for him.

"Mr. B" teaches second-grade

by Brittany Boyd in Northern Virginia, USA
At Little River Elementary School in South Riding, second-grade teacher Timothy Bjorseth, affectionately known as "Mr. B," is one of only six male teachers among a faculty of 45.

A 10-year instructor in education, Bjorseth said he was even more of a minority at the first elementary school where he taught in Illinois. He said he was the only male teacher that school had seen in 10 or 15 years.

When deciding to pursue a career in education, Bjorseth said he did not waver because he'd be a minority as a male.

Ralph Ramstad, a teacher who broke barrier

by Ben Cohen, Star Tribune in Minneapolis, MN, USA
Ralph Ramstad began teaching in the Minneapolis School District around 1950, when few elementary school teachers were male.

Ramstad, a decorated World War II infantryman who spent most of his career teaching fifth- through eighth-graders at Burroughs Elementary, died of natural causes on Monday in Minneapolis.

He was 86.

Working with Children - Intertwined with Faith

Ron Blatz
by Ron Blatz in Manitoba, Canada
My personal story is unavoidably intertwined with my being a part of a faith community. As an Evangelical Christian much of life is seen as the outworking of a God who has a specific purpose for each of us. Our job is to observe the gifts and passions he has placed in us and watch for the open doors that come our way, and then to courageously walk through these doors believing that we can do anything.  All this helps to understand how a Mennonite farm kid from the prairies of Canada could possibly end up in Early Childhood.

Arnold Blume: Substitute Teacher Tells History First Hand

Arnold Blume
by Paul Vitello - New York Times in Breakneck, NY USA
The substitute teacher in Room 216 was pacing, searching for the right touchstone to help an eighth-grade social studies class in this mostly white, affluent community comprehend the sting of racial discrimination.
"O.K., have any of you ever seen the TV show ‘All in the Family?' " he asked.

Some of the Abercrombie-clad 12- and 13-year-olds looked up from their dog-eared three-ring binders. Some studied their cuticles. One girl tentatively raised her hand.

Looking up to a male teacher

Bart Tittle
by Bart Tittle - Pearson Teacher Fellowship - Jumpstart Corps in Kansas - United States
Bart Tittle served 300 hours as a Jumpstart Corps member while he was a student at the University of Missouri Kanses City. After graduating in 2005, Bart joined the Pearson Teacher Fellowship.