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Memoir of a male educator

Local elementary teacher writes e-book about his experiences in the classroom

Posted: December 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Elementary school teacher Ken Newton flips through the pages of his e-book "A Blue Fish in a Sea of Pink" in his classroom at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School. Photo by Luke Money/The Signal.

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Ken Newton has heard it all during his 16 years as an elementary school teacher.

“I’ve had kids be afraid when they first hear I’m going to be their teacher because they think I’m a big, scary teacher,” he said with a smile in his classroom at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School. “And I’ve had parents look at me weird when their kids, my students, say ‘hi’ to me at the grocery store.”

The longtime teacher, who has spent the last 16 years in the Sulphur Springs School District, said he thinks many of those reactions stem from the simple fact that he is a rarity in his field.

After all, he notes, you don’t see too many men teaching in elementary school.

“Until a few years ago I was the only male teacher here,” he said of Fair Oaks Ranch school. “For the longest time I’ve always been the token male.”

His experiences led him to pen a book this summer, “A Blue Fish in a Sea of Pink,” which described his experience as a teacher and his role as a male minority in the workplace.

Among elementary school teachers, men typically make up a minority.

Newton said he’s not sure why so few men go into the field, but he knows why those who do chose to do so.
“You have to do it for the love of education,” he said.

Newton said he began “dabbling” in writing the book about four years ago and finally finished it this summer.

In it he describes both his educational philosophy and how students and parents react when they find out they have a male teacher.

Those experiences include run-ins with young students who are convinced he will be the “mean teacher” because he is a man, he said.

“The best thanks I get is when they come back and thank me a year or two from now,” he said. “But right now they all think I’m super strict.”

Right now the book is available as an e-book on Amazon and Newton is hoping to find someone to publish physical copies soon.

As for what the future holds, Newton said he will keep teaching.

“I love what I do,” he said.

He is also planning to write another book tentatively titled “Mr. Newton’s Way.”

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter
@LukeMMoney

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