Call Me MISTER (CMM) is a nationally acclaimed program that has been in existence at Longwood University since 2007. The program is committed to addressing the critical shortage of male teachers, particularly minority males, in Virginia schools. This mission is rooted in substantial research supporting positive learning outcomes in schools in which the ethnic and gender diversity among teachers better mirrors the diversity of the student population itself.
By recruiting minority males into undergraduate teacher preparation programs, CMM seeks to provide schools across the Commonwealth with talented young teachers who are capable leaders and committed role models for ALL their students.
The program aims to build strong cohorts of young men who support each other in their academic pursuits through:
MISTERS, as they are known on campus, represent majors across elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. Many are first-generation college students who have been inspired by their own educational experiences to commit to the mission of the program.
The CMM program schedules a variety of events throughout the year that gives participants the chance to interact with each other, as well as with mentors, MISTER alumni, the CMM Advisory Board, and other community leaders. The networking brings them into regular contact with school leaders who are actively seeking to employ MISTER alumni.
Mentoring opportunities also provide MISTERS with both formal and informal practice in both teaching and reaching young people. The mentoring complements the various field experiences that are built into the Longwood teacher preparation programs.
Call Me MISTER program graduates are encouraged to embark upon their teaching careers in underserved, socio-economically disadvantaged communities throughout the Commonwealth. Many of the MISTERS come from similar communities themselves. When they return as teachers, these young men join an active network of CMM alumni who are carrying on the program’s important mission.