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Friday, October 6, 2017

All-Male Middle School Classes Seeing Early Success

Editor's Note: Men of Tomorrow (MOT) launched in 2011 at Legacy High School, under the leadership of Ashley Brown, as an all-male English class with the focus of growing successful men inside and outside of the classroom setting. The story below depicts how staff at a middle school started its own chapter of MOT and expanded it to fit their needs.

When administration at a Mansfield ISD middle school noticed a gap in male and female performance on test scores, they implemented a unique learning experience in hopes of increasing performance.

New this school year, T.A. Howard Middle School launched a program called Men of Tomorrow. It’s an opportunity for male students to receive all of their core content instruction in an all-male setting.

Ninety-seven boys are currently enrolled. Seven male teachers, including one for special education, are designated to the program.

Staff say before they started, they created a committee and sent out a community survey, which included input from students, to determine how to improve the learning experience for males.

Seven male teachers are part of the Men of Tomorrow program.
“We did this to meet the specific learning needs,” said assistant principal Brad Schilder. “We identified three research-based best practices that coincide with their desires and how they wanted to learn.”

The key for engagement, he said, is the use of visual aids, movement within the classroom setting and a need for competition.

Although their core classes are all-male classes taught by male teachers, the students still have the opportunity to partake in other extracurricular activities.

“I like Men of Tomorrow because I feel like I get more work done, and the teachers understand me,” said Sebastian Haros, a seventh-grader. ”Having a male mentor is important.”

The program is in its first year, but results are already being made.

“We have seen a reduction in disciplinary issues. We have also seen an increase in academic achievement,” Schilder explained.

Schilder said it’s still too early to know where Men of Tomorrow will go in the future, but the program has the potential to expand pretty quickly.

For more information about T.A. Howard's Men of Tomorrow program, visit the school's website.