It’s becoming rarer to find men in the classroom, especially in Arkansas. The state is ranked bottom in country for the lowest percentage of male teachers.
According to the National Education Association, male teachers make up 16 percent of Arkansas’ teachers. That’s 12 points lower than the nation’s average.
“It’s always a goal of mine to inspire more than the year before,” says Bryant High School business teacher Marc Nixon.
Education has been Nixon’s passion for the last four years, despite being a minority in the industry.
“I could go an entire day without seeing a male teacher,” says Nixon.
Nixon actually graduated with a finance degree and was a banker, a much higher-paying career than teaching, but his heart just wasn’t in it.
“When I was in college, I heard this constantly, that you’re not going to make a whole lot of money in teaching,” says Nixon.
In Arkansas, the average teacher salary is near $47,000. The highest paying jobs, according to payscale.com, are in engineering and business. Those jobs are in the six-figure range.
“We’re going to really have to recruit hard in colleges and universities,” says Assistant Principal Scott Curtis. “In today’s society, we do have students that come from a single parent household. And a lot of times it’s that male figure that they’re lacking in their home.”