by Victoria Bailey -

Across the country, teaching is considered an overwhelmingly female profession.

According to in the Mississippi School Systems, grades k-12, only seventeen percent of teachers are made up of males.

The marines may be looking for a few good men but Mississippi School Systems are in the same position.

For many students in grade school a teacher is usually a Mrs. and if there are men in the school system they work as a bus driver, coach a sport or do vocational work.

To be a teacher, one must have a love for the class room.

“This is my 49th year as a teacher and I decided very early in my life that I wanted to be a teacher and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. You have to have a dedication to the young people,” New Hope Science Teacher Ricky Jones said.

Lowndes County Superintendent Lynn Wright says, Male Teachers are becoming a dying breed but finding more men could have great benefits in and out of the classroom.

“It’s so critical today, so many of our students don’t have a strong male figure in their house hold. So it is very important if we could find a good male role model to fill a teaching position,”Lowndes County Superintendent Lynn Wright said.

Anatomy Teacher Ricky Jones says a Teacher’s Pay is one reason for the shortage.

“Salary was a big thing for males. A lot of men won’t get involved in teaching because they look at more lucrative jobs and males have always been looked at as the bread winner of the family. And if their not going to go into a job that they see is very lucrative or has a very bright future their not really that interested in getting into teaching. There are so many jobs they could get into that will pay them a better salary… especially starting out,” Jones said.

Wright says having a male teacher is ideal but most importantly schools want the right person for the job.

“First thing we want to do is find the most qualified and talented teacher we can we also want someone who is going to be a good role model for our students someone of integrity and character,” Wright said.

According to only 18 percent of teachers across the country in elementary and middle schools are men.