Male Student Needs Help: How To Win Respect?


I'm a male going into Elementary Education! I had begun my student teaching last fall and had a very bad experience with a college evaluator who was very critical and unsupportive of my work. My evaluator treated me unfairly it seemed compared to the rest of the female student teachers whom she was in charge of as well.
Going into the field of elementary education which is dominated by females wasn't an issue for me at first because of my passion for teaching and the joy I believed that would come from being a successful teacher.
After last year however, doubts have trickled into my mind about being a teacher and If I have what it takes to ignore the sterotypes from parents, colleagues and veteran female administrators and evaluators.
My question is: How do I win the respect of parents, colleages and evaluators as I continue my student teaching next fall at a different university?
Question number 2:  Is there any advise that you may give me that might help me right from the beginning say to all the female teachers, parents administrators that I'm here and have picked this career because I love it and am highly qualified and please don't wonder why I am a man and chose this profession?
Teaching can be stressful enough without having my gender being an issue in the situation.
Please help me with encouragement and any advise because I do not want to ever quit and give up on my dream of being a terrific education!

Hang in there!!

Hi...GREAT for you...a male going into Elemenetary Education...we need more men like you...go for it! I am a supervisor of Student Teachers (mostly Early Childhood or Elem Ed this semester); I feel bad you were treated poorly by your supervisor and/or co-operating teacher. Don't let it get you down. Like the previous posts, I would second their thoughts. I tell my ST to be aware of the 6 P's as they start Student Positive, Proactive, Professional, Prepared, Patient [with your students and esp. w/ yourself] and Passionate.....[demonstrate that love of teaching and your love for knowledge, that "fire in your belly" that lets people know you enjoy what you do and that you have every intention of succeeding.] And yes, be humble...I taught for 33 years in elementary schools and never felt I knew it all...I had great experiences and learned a lot along the way but never knew it all and I am still learning!!

David George

Act like you belong there.

I want to echo the previous comment. The number one thing I always did in similar circumstances was to act like I belonged where I was. When I did this it showed everyone that I was confident in my role as a teacher of young children and any reservations they may have had about me just did not fit the situation. Performing with this confidence was also a good way for me to feel positive about what I was doing. After awhile I did not have to tell myself to act with confidence because I was confident and I gained the support I needed.

I have been in ECE for 28 years and have changed jobs several time - for positive reasons. I hope you can also enjoy a long career teaching young children.

Bruce S. Sheppard, M.T.S
EI/ECSE Specialist
Oregon Department of Education

Re: Male Student Needs Help: How to Win Respect?


I am a male Elementary School Teacher in Florida. Congratulations for entering Elementary Education and thank you for trying to keep the torch lit. I will tell you, from my own experience, the process in becoming an elementary educator and the career have not been easy. You face explicit and implicit challenges from where you are now in your academics as well as beyond. I faced an uncomfortable student teaching experience just trying to make a passing grade between a dueling cooperating teacher and internship supervisor (they had issues with each other prior to me).

Your motives for working with and expertise in teaching children might be questioned. You will be praised for choosing to teach. Hold on to these compliments. Parents are a mixed bag; you will have some that will love you and others that will not no matter what you do or how hard you try. So, I will try to answer your questions. I hope these help.

First, you will need the respect of your college evaluators, peers, future administrators, parents, and ultimately, your students by staying focused as a teacher. Here's what I mean. Do everything to perfect your craft. Read. Research. Take breaks, but spend your time trying to learn and understand the field of education as best as you can. Colleagues respect you when you can engage them as well as or better than your students. You have to make yourself a professionally hot commodity (and not in any way beyond professional, of course)

Next, I don't feel that you need to make any statements to any female teachers, parents or anyone about who you are. Let your work in the classroom speak for itself. Do much to make your lesson plans tight. When the kids leave your class with their projects, songs and smiles their reactions to being in Mr. (insert your name here)'s class will do the talking for you. However, do not come into the classroom as a "know-it-all". You won't know everything and you'll want and need the support of your colleagues. See if your school district will provide you with a mentor. You'll need one as a rookie teacher.

My bottom line: Teaching is stressful regardless of whether you're male of female. There's is an added pressure for males as there aren't enough of us. Your drive is one of many things that you must rely on to get you through the university experience. Hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Contact me by e-mail: if you have additional questions.