Simply Teaching - One man's teaching journey

[MenTeach: This is an interesting blogpost from a male teacher. He tells an interesting story about his getting hired and cites numerous articles on the internet. This is an excerpt.]

Are There Any Male Teachers Out There?

by Dawn Farrell and Michelle McHugh -
As an individual walks through the halls of an elementary school more often than not they will observe only female teachers. One may ask are there any males in this profession? If so where are they? Gender roles have changed in the United States, yet there are still very few male teachers in the classroom especially at the elementary level.

Editorial: Will there be more women in the U.S. workforce?

There are so many trends that effect why men and women work in the occupations that they do. During the late 1920s, more men returned to teaching. And after World War II, because of the GI Bill we saw more men going into education than ever before in history.

We now have two things going on that may be a "perfect storm" of having more men go into education.

1) More men are losing than jobs than women. According to a New York Times article last year:

Editorial: It's important to challenge ALL gender bias

We read numerous articles about gender bias. Our focus at MenTeach.org is primarily about challenging stereotypes and bias that men face in education. And we know this is important work.

We also think it's important to challenge any and all gender stereotypes and bias. If we allow stereotypes about women - our co-workers/teachers - then we are perpetuating the entire system of sexism. And ironically, it will hurt us.

Career changers wanting to going into teaching

Yes. It's a very tight economy. And many school districts and programs are laying off and not hiring. But teaching still remains a good place to work. In the next few years, we will see a large percentage of teachers retiring. It probably would have happened sooner except for this "don't call it a depression" depression that we are in.

To prepare for this change there two programs I want to highlight for career changers.

Why Boys Fail?

There's a new book coming out in January 2010. The author, Richard Whitmire, talks about male teachers in one of his chapters:

Public Mixed on Gender Roles in Jobs; 7% Prefer Male Elementary School Teachers

MenTeach: There is much debate about what occupations men and women should have. In a study by Pew Research a survey shows there is bias towards one gender for specific occupations.

"...the survey asked whether people are more comfortable dealing with a man or with a woman in a variety of positions of authority - doctor, banker, lawyer, police officer, airline pilot, school teacher and surgeon.

What's your favorite movie about male teachers?

There are a number of films about male teachers. Some are better than others but all portray men as teachers. Do you have any favorites? Are we missing any?

Here's a list:

1939 & 1969 Goodbye Mr. Chips
1955 Blackboard Jungle
1970 Halls Of Anger
1984 Teachers
1989 Lean On Me
1988 Stand and Deliver
1990 Kindergarten Cop
1991 Shout

New DVD about male teachers

Expect Male Involvement: Recruiting & Retaining Men in Early Childhood Education

An exciting and effective DVD about men in the lives of children is now available for purchase. It's already been shown in Georgia, Canada and will soon be shown in Ireland. A great video about the importance of men in the lives of children.

MenTeach Mentors needed in Minneapolis/St. Paul & Cambridge, Massachusetts

MenTeach Mentors

Young men, ages 14 - 15 years old, need men mentors who are currently working or have worked with children. The young man will be working in youth programs, child care and schools this summer.

There are three levels of involvement:

1) Career day - This is a one-time visit to the youth's worksite where you have an opportunity to discuss your career path and teaching.

Dr. Helen talks about stereotypes that male teachers face

An MSN article notes that male teachers continue to take a nosedive:

Where Are All The Men - A Parent's Perspective

by Stacey Garfinkle - Washingtonpost.com

That's the word that describes my emotions last week when we received the long-awaited postcard telling us who the first-grade teacher would be. While we're lucky that our school has many very good teachers, there are a few I'd rather avoid. A good teacher means my son will likely have a great school year; a bad teacher means... Well, thankfully we haven't had to cross that path yet.

Just Say NO, to No Touch

by Donald E. Piburn, M.S.Ed
Male early childhood (EC) educators face stereotypes that portray us as potential child abusers on a daily basis. Clearly, children must be protected from child abusers, yet a principle reason many men give for not entering or staying in the field of early childhood education (ECE) is fear of being accused of harming young children (Nelson, 2002). Only at their own peril do many male EC educators offer "the intimate pats, back rubs, caresses and leisurely holding on laps and in arms that little ones need" (Honig, 2005).

Are male teachers the answer?

The Jamaica Observer
Career & Education shares with you this week the thoughts of Vivienne Turnbull concerning the value of male teachers in the classroom and how Jamaica could, potentially, attract more men to help educate and mentor the island's boys. Turnbull is an image and communications consultant.

WHEN I attended high school and college, there was no shortage of male teachers in the classroom. I suspect this had a positive impact on students, especially males.

Men teaching in the news

Every day we see more and more stories about men teaching - the attention to this topic is hopeful and we believe an indication of the interest.

Both the posting of the article to ABCNews.com and the Good Morning America segment generate more than 30,000 hits in one day to the MenTeach.org website! We've been watching the comment section of their site and have read many stories.

Here is one comment:

Where in the world do Men Change Diapers?

by Kitt Cox
If you're like many of those associated with MenTeach, you've probably surprised many different people in many situations with your "Men who change diapers change the world" bumperstickers.

Kitt Cox got T. Berry Brazelton, the famous pediatrician to pose with a bumper sticker.

Do you want to start your own male teacher training program?

Sometimes on quiet days (or when we want a distraction from all the work we have) we'll do a search on the internet about male teachers, men teachers, or this time "male teacher training programs."

The value of the male schoolteacher

by Derrick Z. Jackson - Boston Globe Columnist
PATRICK Cunningham taught my youngest son a decade ago in first and second grade at the Cambridgeport School in Cambridge. Now 59, he still teaches the same grades at the same school, one of the relatively few men in the nation working with children so young. In 27 years of preschool and early elementary teaching, he has felt none of the cultural pressures that stop men from even thinking about such a career. more stories like this

What is "male" culture?

How do we define culture and specifically what is a "male" culture - what are the qualities of a classroom and activities that are "male?" Is there a "female" culture? Isn't the idea of "male" and "female" changing all the time?

Here is one man's response:

Editorial: Children benefit by having male teachers

There is a small, but slowly growing body of evidence about the importance of men teachers.

In one study, we find that boys do better in reading if they have a male teacher.

In another study in the United Kingdom, "finds that three-quarters (76 per cent) of boys aged eight to 11 are in favour of schools having teachers of both genders."

Working Forum - Men in Early Childhood Education

Don Piburn, Hawaii
The 2008 Working Forum (WF) on Men in Early Childhood Education (MECE) Honolulu was an incredible success. Like most everyone who assisted in the planning for the event, I know we all had some digging out to do. I received many personal expressions of appreciation regarding the WF MECE Honolulu from WF MECE attendees. Every single one of the comments I have received to date have been positive.

Here is an example:

Teacher Shortage or Teacher Turnover

MenTeach receives e-mails and comments from readers expressing their frustration about not being able to find a teacher job. This can definitely be a very frustrating experience. There are several issues that feed this seemingly contradictory problem - few men teachers and many schools saying they want more male teachers but men are not being hired.

The Working Forum Conference

I know we should be posting photos and daily reports about the event - after all it IS the first of its kind in history. But it's been unbelieveably full. From early morning until late at night.

I'll just list a few highlights and come back later to give a fuller report.

First World Conference for Men in Early Childhood Education

I've arrived in Honolulu, HI for the first World Conference for men in early childhood education. It's been over five years in the planning and it's amazing to think it will be happening starting on Tuesday.

Girls vs. Boys

Veronica - Chicago Mom's Blog
Are girls really out pacing boys in education?

Looking Elsewhere

by whatupthen
[MenTeach: We like to read what is out there and found this teacher's comments. Do you have any thoughts about his situation? Is it similar to your situation?]

Male Teachers

by Tom Scott - December 6, 2004

How do I get my teaching license?

We get many e-mails from readers about useful links. Some are from people trying to promote a product or service - not always very useful.

Recently, we received a e-mail about a site that lists all the states requirements to get a teaching license - it even lists alternative certification. A very useful resource.

What does society think of people who work with young children?

by Julian Grenier
[MenTeach: This is an interesting blog posting from the UK.]

It's been a good week for news about this. A report in the Observer takes another look at a familiar question: why are there so few men in primary and nursery education?
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