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 Male teachers in elementary school? 
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As everyone knows, when most people think of teachers they think of females especially in the elementary classrooms. I have noticed that they are few males in the elementary education program here and I was wondering if you think gender roles have affected males decision of becoming a teacher and what you thought about teachers being thought of more as a female occupation?

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Angela Nicole Sain


Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:50 pm
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I think that the elementary school teacher is definitely viewed in society as a job for a woman. Part of the reason I feel like less men are in this field is because it is not viewed as a "manly" job. It seems more like a motherly career choice. Also, for the most part, the man is still viewed as being the provider for their family and it seems like they generally aim for higher paying and more prestigious positions. When I was in elementary school I there was 2 male teachers; One that taught 5th grade saxon math and the other was the P.E. teacher. The math teacher didn't interact with us much and I don't remember much about him, but the P.E. teacher is one that I remember the most about, he was really funny, and motivated everyone to do their best at all the P.E. activities. I think that men would be just as good elementary school teachers as women are and it would give the little boys a male figure to look up to at school.

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Katherine Stover


Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:40 pm
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I agree with Katie that having a male teacher in elementary school would be a great positive influence. Some little boys and girls for that matter don't have a male at home to look up to, and having a male teacher would at least give them an opportunity to interact with an adult male. Male teachers are needed in all teaching positions but I can see that the elementary level is very low on male teachers.

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Heather L. Heath


Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:07 pm
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I think there are a few reasons why most males choose not to teach children in the elementary years.

I think many men are slightly worried about what kind of outward image that being a male teacher in elementary school projects. Perhaps many men are afraid that being in a predominately female field might somehow emasculate them. BUT, I don't think all men feel that way.

I think it has a lot to do with the pay, a lot of men aren't willing to take jobs with lower pay, because they have to be "the money makers"

I do tentatively plan on going into teaching elementary school art after college, and I will say that for me the doubts about working in the elementary grades lie with discipline. I'm afraid to be too assertive or passive with discipline. I'm also more than happy with making less money if it's a job that feels fulfilling and comes natural to me.

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Jonathan M. Sykes


Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:08 pm
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I think that gender roles is a huge reasons that male teachers do not want to teach in schools. For exmaple, I have a cousin who is about to go to college and for his whole likfe has wanted to be a elementary teacher because he comes from a huge family and loves kids. He has recently decided not to follow out with this dream because of the sterotype gender roles that come with being a teacher. The first reason he doe snot want to be a teacher is because he feels that since he is a male that he has to make the money in the family to support his family and he feels that teaching does not make enough money. The second major reason is he feels that he will be looked at oddly if he takes this roles as a teacher because he is a male!
I feel that these issues run through many males heads when they are trying to decide a future in being a teacher. This is a shame because there as great men out there, like my cousin, who would be great teachers.

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Katherine Gray Nelli


Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:22 am
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I agree with Katie Gray in that I think that gender roles play a huge role in the lack of male teachers, especially in Elementary grades. I personally know a few guys in high school thought it would be neat to become a teacher, but unfortunately they were more concerned with what other people thought than what they really wanted to do. I remember them mentioning that men were the ones that we supposed to have the high paying jobs to support their wives, and being a teacher does not bring home a lot of money to fit that statement.

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Laura Davis


Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:12 pm
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I definitely think that most people see women as teachers, especially at the elementary level. I did not have a male teacher until I as in high school and I had two, one for math and science, and one for history. I think that it is important for males to be teachers at the elementary level because they can have an impact and be good role models, especially for the boys in the classroom. Right now in my field experience, I am actually working with a male 5th grade teacher. There is another 5th grade teacher who is also male. I think that the kids in the classroom, especially the boys, look up to these men. However, I think that society today does put an emphasis on females being the teachers, especially at the elementary level.

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Jennifer Beach


Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:18 pm
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I definitely think society has viewed elementary teachers as a female job. People to this day still view elementary teachers and nurses as female jobs, and construction workers and truck drivers as male jobs. I think men should really consider becoming an elementary teacher because they could have a positive impact on a little boy's life who may not be able to relate to a female teacher. Little boys might also behave better having a male teacher haha. I did not start having male teachers until I was in middle school and the male teachers were our PE teachers and coaches for softball, basketball, baseball, etc. The first time I have even seen a male elementary teacher was during my Cherokee trip. The first grade teacher that I assisted was a man and he definitely handled the classroom differently.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:09 pm
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I have to agree with ya'll on here that teaching in general is seen in our society as a woman's job. I know there are exceptions to this, which is great, but I wonder why men aren't being teachers.

I do however disagree with Jon, he said: "I think it has a lot to do with the pay, a lot of men aren't willing to take jobs with lower pay, because they have to be the money makers'". I have to disagree here because a lot of blue collar jobs (and other types of jobs) pay just as much or less money than a teacher salary. I mean police officers are roughly paid the same amount of teachers and that is a male dominated field. So I don't think it's pay that sways men to other jobs. I think it's what the job is and how our society treats jobs. I don't think males want to come out as being "gay" or "sissy" because of their job. When asked around they would probably feel more masculine if they said "office manager" instead of "kindergarten teacher".

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amy butler


Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:18 pm
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amy butler wrote:
I have to agree with ya'll on here that teaching in general is seen in our society as a woman's job. I know there are exceptions to this, which is great, but I wonder why men aren't being teachers.

I do however disagree with Jon, he said: "I think it has a lot to do with the pay, a lot of men aren't willing to take jobs with lower pay, because they have to be the money makers'". I have to disagree here because a lot of blue collar jobs (and other types of jobs) pay just as much or less money than a teacher salary. I mean police officers are roughly paid the same amount of teachers and that is a male dominated field. So I don't think it's pay that sways men to other jobs. I think it's what the job is and how our society treats jobs. I don't think males want to come out as being "gay" or "sissy" because of their job. When asked around they would probably feel more masculine if they said "office manager" instead of "kindergarten teacher".

Fair point.

Maybe it was just hopeful thinking on my part. I'm not sure why blue collar jobs slipped from my mind.

I think I was trying to refer to was the fact that male teachers typically try to shoot for higher paying positions (secondary, college level positions) within the teaching field, or even administrative positions. I probably should've have made that a little more explicitly clear. And I'm not saying that this isn't playing into the idea of male gender roles, because I feel like it most certainly is.

And I absolutely agree that most people in our society (men more so than women) view teaching at the elementary school level a "woman's job". I think a lot of the cultural stereotypes of women as the primary caregivers for young children have carried over into the field of education, and that is definitely playing into the reason why elementary schools are filled so many female teachers. Men are absolutely trying to keep in line with their gender roles.

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Jonathan M. Sykes


Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:15 pm
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I think it is really surprising how most elementary teachers are females but I also agree that it would be a great thing to have more male elementary teachers. However, with there only being a few male teachers, I think that it is a good thing that they are more in the middle school and high school levels. I think that middle school and high school grades are when boys need more male role models and if the male teachers chose to go more in to the elementary field, that students would suffer. I wish that there were more male teachers in general but with the few that there are, I think that it is better for students that they are in the ages where boys are maturing.

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Leslie Sheppard


Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:33 am
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I definitely believe that having more male teachers in the Elementary department would be beneficial! I remember my own elementary years and encountered my first male teacher in 5th grade. I did not have him as a teacher, but he was across the hall. I realize now there really aren't that many male teachers and I think this is because of many reasons. Not only does the teaching profession not attract male figures as much as females, males also are targeted more and people are more skeptical of males alone with children. However, now I believe that females are just as targeted as males. I hope as the years go on more males will become teachers in the elementary level.

Casey Gill


Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:23 pm
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To me gender roles are made up because of stereotypes. While stereotypes are not true for everyone, there is some bit of truth to them. Women seem to have a more nurturing motherly side to them. I don't think males stray from becoming teachers, they just stray from teaching small children. Even the few male elementary teachers I've seen teacher grades no lower than fourth. I just think that a woman's motherly instinct kicks in and draws her towards the younger grades. This is not always true and I'm sure there are wonderful male teachers for the younger grades, but in my experience, this is what I've found.

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Katelyn McMillan


Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:57 pm
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I think that gender roles, while they may be socially constructed, are very hard things to overcome in today's society. Chris Hanson and "To Catch a Predator" have stigmatized males so much that it is very much frowned upon to work with little kids. I have known many male elementary teachers, but of course seeing them in that environment made me wonder what things they had to watch out for. Rules for contact with kids usually are only observed in the middle and high schools, so male teachers who are actually in that position end up being free from a lot of criticism. But I don't think that it is impossible for a male to be an elementary school teacher, but the road to that goal is a bit more difficult.

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A. Kyle Whisenant


Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:47 pm
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More males should be in elementary education as role models for children at an age where there is still much dependence on"mommy". Also, more males at an elementary level leads to a more developed and varied experience for the students.

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Ben


Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:13 pm
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I have to say that I have always hated the gender role labels on jobs and skills. I have always been a girly-girl, but I do not want to spend the rest of my life being told I can not do something because I am a girl. I think that an adult male's presence in any classroom is important. It is important for young students to have role models that are effective and good. I think that with the changes in society today men feel afraid to step up and work in certain fields because of the stero-types that have been placed on males in that field. I would like to in the near future see more men in the elementary education field because I believe it would greatly benefit society.

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Danielle L Epley


Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:04 pm
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I think we should have more male teachers. I think once that once a teacher is accused of a lude act they should be removed but until I think both male and females have the right to be teachers. I think the fear of that accusation is what holds males back from being teachers. They feel it is more a place for a woman when children need just as much "man" time as they do "woman" time.

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Ashley Rebecca Brooks


Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:53 pm
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I disagree with Jon as well about the pay part. However, I do agree with him that a lot of it probably has to do with outward image. I feel like Kyle of Ben mentioned it in class, but people seem to be a little suspicious of male elementary teachers than women teachers. They are watched a little more closely sometimes and have to be even more careful of what they do. Also, men don't want to be seen as nurturing, caring, and sensitive. Being an elementary teacher usually involves all three of these and more feminine qualities that many men do not want any ties to.

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Megan Wright


Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:07 am
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