NYC Men Teach / NYC Teaching Fellows False Recruitment

I have not seen much written about the whole NYC Men's Teach initiative and the NYC teaching fellows. My honest opinion is that these programs are not really trying to recruit men (more importantly men of color). I feel like they are only in place to meet EEO requirements. To say that they tried to "diversify"  the teaching community. I know those are wild accusations to make  and I could be wrong but I figure I'll tell my story.

Around 2012, I heard about the teaching fellows, at the time I was already working for the city as a Public Records Aide so I figured I give it a shot. I thought it would be a good idea considering how few male teachers I've had ( and even fewer black male teachers) from grades K - 12. I filled out the application online and attended the interview at Washington Irving H.S. We took a math test and then were separated into different classrooms. Everyone had to prepare a sample lesson plan to present to interviewers along with a one-on-one interview with the teaching fellow selectors. I can't really remember the lesson plan I demonstrated but it had something to with music. On the one - on -one interview I expressed how I wanted to be positive role model for kids who rarely see a male figure in schools (or in their lives in general). A couple weeks later I get an email that I was rejected without any explanation. I felt a little dejected but life goes on so I moved on from disappointment.

Flash-forward to 2016, I saw an advertisement for NYC Men Teach on the train. So I thought to myself that maybe they are really trying to get in men in to the education system. I went on the website and signed up. I received a call about a week later from a lady that worked for the program, she basically told me that they had this new initiative to get men into the education system to become teachers and they were going to have networking / mixer events and that I should apply to NYC Teaching Fellows. So I thought that they had a specific program to get men in the school system because I already know about the fellows. I told my mother about and she basically kept pressing me to apply for the fellows again. So reluctantly I applied however this time they had a more difficult process for getting in, it involved a telephone interview in which they would make the determination whether to send the applicant to the interview. They also required the applicant to teach a sample lesson from the topics that were on their website, the applicant also had to chose which area they would like to work in : Science , Math , ESL or Special Ed. I chose to teach a lesson in English on literal and figurative language, I definitely put more effort in to the preparation for this lesson than before.

I received an email that I was selected to the phone interview, I scheduled the phone interview online and got a call in about 2 weeks. They basically told me about the fellows and what was expected of applicants, they asked me why I wanted to teach and asked me a few scenario questions such as if a student is appearing to have emotional issues and its affecting their school work, what would you do. The phone interview lasted about 15 minutes, I thought I answered everything well with concise answers. I received another email a couple weeks later that I passed the phone interview and they would like me to attend the in person interview at Cobble Hill High School. They told us to practice our lessons with each other while we waited to be separated into classrooms. We went upstairs where we conducted the sample lessons and other activities that was supposed to simulate what the fellows do during their workshops. I did my lesson , I drew examples and I thought it went well. They gave us individual feedback on the lessons and they told us to re-do a particular part of our lessons where they felt needed improvement. After we concluded the lessons and activities we were told that we would receive an email that let us know if were selected. I anxiously awaited the email, a couple weeks later I get an email that I was not selected with no details (sounds familiar). This  time I wasn't as disappointed but I wondered why, I wish they provided some feedback because I really thought I did well.

Oh I forgot to mention, while I was awaiting the decision from teaching fellows, I received an email from NYC men teach  about  a networking mixer at a restaurant in the Bronx. So I attend the mixer and basically everyone is talking and eating , not really any discussion about jobs in education. The leader of the mixer thanked everyone for coming and said that there would be more mixers in the future. I spoke to him and explained that I was awaiting the decision from the fellows. He said that he would follow up on it and let me know whats going on, he gave me his card and told me to contact him. I contacted him about 2 days later and he told me that he didn't work for the fellows and couldn't provide me with any information. I was a bit bewildered, he told would help but then basically acted like he didn't know me.  Basically in my opinion, the mixer was a waste of time because it didn't provide any information that I didn't know already.

So you may ask , well maybe you didn't qualify for the job or maybe you didn't fit their image of an ideal teacher. I'm not sure but a few things led me to believe that maybe this initiative is not what it seems to be. I think the fact that the men teach initiative is  referring people to teaching fellows is sort of asinine, why refer people to information that is already readily available. I also feel that the teaching fellows are looking for a certain type of individual , when I say they a certain type of individual I mean they don't want people who resemble the kids that are being taught. I could be wrong but I didn't see many people who looked like me (a young black man) at the interview even though they were supposedly recruiting men , especially men of color.

I really want to get people's thoughts and opinions on this, like I said I could be wrong but I have feeling that something is not right with this process.

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