Friday, July 13, 2007

Living in a world of women...

Teaching is a great field. You get the opportunity to pass on knowledge to children in order to prepare them for life in the real world. It is a great feeling!

I always loved my teachers (sans my 5th grade homeroom, 11th grade Chemistry, 12 grade Econ and AP Statistics teachers) and admired them for their passion of teaching. My absolute favorite teacher was my 6th grade teacher, perhaps that is why I teach around the same age group.. we'll take another time to delve into my psyche. The picture of my teachers could be summed up in the same few words: 30's-40's white female. Not including my band directors, I never had a male teacher until 8th grade, when I was bombarded with 3 in one year! Man was that a change!

Male teachers are so different. It's hard for them not to be seeing how different men and women are on a basic level. For the most part, my male teachers had more vocal classes with more off topic discussions but those were the classes where I learned the most and enjoyed my time (except for my Chemistry teacher... that man was an absolute imbecile). Now my exposure to male teachers increased with every grade level I advanced, and it's safe to say that this is the trend for most districts... and I think it's rather unfortunate.


Male students respond so much better to male teachers, IMO. If they were exposed to this at an early age, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade I think they would be so much more successful in school, but instead they are living in a world of women. Most GROWN men have trouble understanding and dealing with women, and you expect little children and teenagers to deal nothing else throughout their entire time in school?! I think the boys are getting short changed here. In fact, I know they are. I can deal fairly well with boys on some levels; I know a lot about sports, music and other things that interest most, but I relate to girls so much better. I was raised in a house of girls. One of my co-workers has 3 boys, she relates so much better to boys because of her interactions and experiences with her own. But not every teacher has siblings or children to help them relate to their students better, so you rely on your own gender as a point of commonality. You have a relationship with half your students before they even walk in the door.

As crucial as it is for districts to get teachers in the classroom, they have got to start doing something about getting a good balance of male and female. Women have been able to crack their way into almost every job known to man in this country, with exception to the Presidency and maybe some professional sports. Why can't men seem to crack their way into the teaching profession?

Can't you just see the employment add now?

Seeking educated male with BA/BS and TeXes certification to work with 5-150 women daily who all eye you like a T-Bone steak anytime you walk into the room. Oh right, and you can change the world by teaching some little'uns too.


You laugh because you know it is true. Men in the teaching field are treated like gods! The women swoon, then other men breathe a sigh of relief for a standard deviation increase in the testosterone department and administrators pat them on the back for being the minority. I know I look at any male teacher walking through my school at the beginning of the year thinking.. "Ooh, he's cute! I wonder if he's married!" and other non-school appropriate things. There's just something about a man who is a teacher.. but for now I am living in a world of women.

13 comments:

Redkudu said...

Hilarious post! I was, indeed, laughing out loud at your job posting.

No question about it, we need more males in the profession, for the sake of both girls and boys. In the case of the districts I've worked in (low socio-economic populations), it's been especially important to see strong minority role models interact with the kids, both male and female.

I think the major problem, which may be even more daunting than being eyed as this year's beefcake, is the potential for accusations of impropriety. Though many of the most recent high-profile cases have involved female teachers and male students, there is still a stigma male teachers must overcome and be constantly vigilant of.

My father, who served in the military and didn't become a teacher until in his 50s, used to talk about how careful he felt he had to be, with male or female students, especially when they came for tutoring in the mornings or after school.

By the way, have you seen the blog Learn Me Good? He's a guy. He teaches in Texas. He's hilarious. :)

http://learnmegood2.blogspot.com/

Obi-Wandreas, The Funky Viking said...

When I first started teaching at my current building, the other teachers said "Oh, good, more testosterone!." We have about 400 students in the building pre-k through 8th grade, and I am one of 6 male teachers 2 special ed teachers, the building math teacher, the full time gym teacher, and the part-time gym teacher are the others. The only other men in the building are on the engineering (i.e. janitorial) staff.

Mister Teacher said...

Why do I feel like I should be wrapped in Saran rap now?
Ever since I started my job as a (male) third-grade teacher, I have gotten comments from parents saying, "My child has never had a male teacher before." I'm not really sure if they think that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm sure their child has never had a werewolf teacher before either...
And I think you've overestimated exactly how many women "swoon" when I walk down the hall. It's only like 10 or 12 -- definitely not 50 or 60 like you imply...

Mike in Texas said...

Ah, if only this were true. I am a male teacher in an elementary school and I am hardly looked upon as a T-bone steak when I enter a room full of women.

What I get is generally left out of a large amount of things. Some of this, of course, is related to the fact I don't belong to any groups (I'm the only Science and Technology teacher at my school). I generally don't get invited to, but often hear about the planning of and the results of, dinners, parties, etc. Last year it got so bad I simply stopped eating lunch in the faculty lunchroom after listening to one grade level group discuss their upcoming Xmas party for 2 weeks, and watching several of them roll their eyes in exasperation when one of their co-workers invited me to their party. Needless to say I didn't attend.

I'm just an ordinary, average looking guy and sadly enough, women can be as shallow as men when it comes to looks and much worse when it comes to money. When I tell women I'm a teacher I can almost see the calculations going on in their heads and conclusions about my potential lifetime earnings being reached.

ms. whatsit said...

If only the problem were that men couldn't crack into the teaching profession. The problem is, of course, really economic and they generally don't want to become teachers.. If teachers were paid more on par of doctors, lawyers and engineers, for example, no doubt we'd see a lot more of them in the classroom.

Alas, the public will have to settle on mostly women educators and hope that they have sons of their own to help them relate better to boys.

Ryan said...

The other male teacher in my building just moved up to the Middle School, the male principal was replaced by a grrl. That leaves me and the computer tech as the only male staff members in a school of 580 kids, pre-6.

Bill said...

I wish that I could find out where I read it, but I did read a synopsis of a study that showed that parents were very distrustful of male teachers at the elementary level. Almost all parents surveyed were much more comfortable with females teaching their children than males. I sadly suspect many believe that if a male wants to work with little kids, he must be some sort of pervert.

Jose said...

I agree. Being a male teacher is weird, because everyone, including fellow male teachers, look at you a little differently. Therefore, it's imperative to have that balance of male and female. For my kids, it's even more distressing since most of them grew up with one parent, and that parent's the female. Hence I'm often looked at as a father figure. It's endearing, but it lends evidence to the fact that both male and female voices are needed. Thanks for the good post. Peace ...

Mimi said...

Loved your post- I'm so glad I discovered your blog...I can't wait to read more.

And now I feel bad about referencing the creepy-male-teacher guy (that every school also seems to have) on my blog. I wish we had more guys like you to ogle, I mean collaborate with!!!

cheers,
Mimi

AMY said...

Ha. Ha. I mentored an American Indian 24-year-old male student teacher last year. He was fantastic. And it wasn't just his maleness that many of my students responded well to. Our profession is also in desperate need of more folks who aren't white.

destilando cafe said...

In my current( undesirable) district, there has been something "wrong" with almost every male teacher I have encountered at the elementary level. Whether it's personality, caring, academic credentials, effectiveness, they have been way below the women teachers in my district, and yet they get handed all kinds of breaks because of their rarity. Back when I taught in a "nicer" district in Texas, this was not the case. But sub-standard, pampered male teachers have been my experience for the past 7 years in my current job up north.

Aaron the Teacher said...

I've spent three years as a male junior high special-ed teacher. There are all the problems you mentioned and one more:

I'm the only one who can go in the boys' bathroom and discover exactly why some of them spent so much time in there.

thirdgradeteacher said...

"Most GROWN men have trouble understanding and dealing with women, and you expect little children and teenagers to deal nothing else throughout their entire time in school?!" is a classic line... I am a male third grade teacher and agree with everything you wrote, when I wasn't too busy laughing out loud as I read through it. Kudos.