My Quest To Teach

April 11, 2016

Male Educators’ Network (M.E.N.) in DCPS


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Supporting Men Teachers and Their Contributions to Education
by William Jackson, M.Edu
2015-2016 Teacher of the Year  – Venetia Elementary
Duval County Public Schools – Member of M.E.N in DCPS
Instructor with Edward Waters College
Teaching Educational Technology and Social Media
Volunteer of “Call Me Mister Program” mentoring and
supporting young men in college entering into the
profession of education.

Where are the male teachers? And, more broadly, how can
men participate in both traditional and nontraditional
educator roles in the communities that need them most.
Imagine walking into a school that has an equal number
of men and women educating and leading our next generation.

Think of the difference male teachers and role models could
make in our country, a place where at least 57% of schools
are in high poverty and urban environments.
As school districts are becoming more and more diverse, yet
less diverse in their teaching force, the balance must shift
toward an equal number of male and female teachers.

Men who want to impact our next generation of
leaders will enjoy the Men Educator’s Network…..
for conversation, sharing, supporting, inspiring!!!!!

Let’s not talk about the decline of Male Teachers,
let’s not talk about the lack of African American, Asian, Latina,
and other cultures in the educational profession.
Let’s not address the extinction of the male presence in a
growing number of school classrooms and districts across
the nation.
Let’s look at the here and now of helping male teachers
that are working as educators, administrators and support
personnel to contribute to the success of all students.
Department of Education data shows less than 5% of
this nation’s teachers are African American men and less than
15% are men. This speaks volumes because kids need to see
male teachers and teachers of color.  The visual identity that
African American men and other men of color and culture
can be positive, productive and purposeful is a mind blowing
experience for children of color and culture that may not
have these visual representations of stability, pride and
success.

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Teaching is hard work at any level, I have 27 years in public
education at the time of this blog and 17 years in higher education.
The work has always been worthwhile, valuable, and rewarding,
it can be stressful and the rewards are delayed because it is
dependent on working to get youth, teens and young adults to
see their potential and work towards it.  Sometimes it involves
getting parents to see how important they are to the educational
process as well.
All men from administrators, educators, custodians, cafeteria
workers, and teacher aides are important because they represent
a support system for boys and girls, the potential of their success
and hope for the future that our young people can gain from the
experiences and wisdom of men. The potential to grow beyond
current circumstances and the hope for a better life.
From the article, “Black Male Teachers Becoming Extinct,”
March 2012 (CNN) Teris King, shares a feeling that other
male teachers share, “I fill a void in their (students) lives.”
He shares truth because to many boys and girls do not have
consistent and positive male role models. Extending his
experiences that, “A lot of them have never felt what it feels
like to shake a man’s hand, tell them right from wrong in a
caring way. They need someone in their lives that are
educated and positive.”

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Mr. Kenneth Francis – Program Manager – Call Me Mister Program

Even though data shows low income students need interaction
from professional men, true to life all students need to know how to
interact with men, to provide instruction on how to mature
responsibly, be accountable for their actions, develop critical thinking
and higher order thinking skills, understanding and relating to their
place in society, their roles as developing young men and their
duties/responsibilities as future professionals, husbands and fathers.
Programs like the “Teach Campaign,” “Call Me Mister,” “My Brother’s
Keeper,” “5000 Role Models” and others are working to encourage
and provide financial support to bring more men into education and
lead to other professions. To show how empowering education is.
Reaching young men early provides opportunities to show young
men that they have options through education not crime. They have
talents, skills and abilities that can Brand them in order to Market
themselves in diverse educational markets anywhere in the nation
or the world. The encouraging reports from the Department
of Education that this can change with male teachers sharing their
experiences with other young men to give them hope through
their challenges in life 2013.

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School districts like Duval County Public Schools where I teach are
seeing the need of more male teachers, not just physical education
and coaching, but in key areas like Pre-K, Kindergarten, and subject areas
not traditionally taught by men. Subjects like STEM, STREAM, CSTEM,
need men to show the diversity of careers, peer collaboration, networking,
and explaining why higher education and vocational education are
important to the economic stability of men and their families.

Positive images allow boys and young men to look away from gangs,
drugs, and crime to focus on education, to look forward to employment,
traveling and careers that they never thought about. Students are
generally excited in many cases about having a male teacher because
students seek that male nurturing, the acceptance of a male in a positive
way and having a caring adult that will teach them, mentor and guide
them to success. Male teachers can help young males transition through
the rough times of puberty, dating, peer pressure and the insecurities
of building who and what they are, the potential to grow and
exceed their own expectations.

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Duval County Public Schools is increasing the support of male teachers
with the M.E.N meetings that provide unique professional development
opportunities to meet the needs of men that are educators,
administrators and even support personnel. Even though the populations
of many school districts of male teachers are small, Duval County Public
Schools knows the influence of male teachers is tremendous and long lasting.
DCPS has M.E.N meeting to support the educational process of male
teachers and administrators. Partnering with the “Call Me Mister” program
housed at Edward Waters College under the leadership of Mr. Charles Francis
these joint partnerships help to continue to build male teachers from the
school of Education and Urban Studies at Edward Waters College.
Helping new teachers to make the transition from college graduate to
educational professional.

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Support programs and national data accumulated, male teachers
need to be supported because they share generational successes.
Male teachers are held to a higher standard because of their influences
as leaders, role models and influences that extend outside of the classroom
and schools.
Male teachers influence extends into the community because of their
presence and connection with students especially students of color and culture
who may not be exposed to a positive model at home.  Male teachers are
seen coaching, mentoring, in academic and non-academic roles.
From my experiences that I know other male teachers share when students
see me in the store, in the community and even in the mall there are smiles
handshakes and  hugs from students and parents because of the relationships
male teachers create.

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Resources:
M.E.N .
The Male Educators’ Network (M.E.N.)
Duval County Public Schools
http://www.duvalschools.org/

Mr. Kenneth Francis
Program Manager – Call Me Mister Program
Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, Florida
k.francis@ewc.edu

 

 

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