[MenTeach: More and more college and university students are doing surveys asking about male teachers. They notice that there are so few men so they end up doing a research project. The following are some comments from parents in answer to a survey:

1 a) If your child/children currently has or use to have a male teacher, does/did it bother you?

1 b) What if the teacher is teaching in a preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade classroom (lower elementary)?

2) It’s a known fact that the education/teaching profession has more females than males. Current studies approximate that of all U.S. school teachers (K-12), only a quarter are males, and less than 10% of these teach in elementary school classrooms. How do you feel about this?

What do you think about the parent’s comments?]

1a) My first daughter had a male Teacher’s Aide in her co-op preschool in Daly City. No, it did not bother me at all. Her main kindergarten teacher was female, but sort of co-taught/shared a room with a male teacher. Again, I was fine with it, even liked him. She later had a male teacher in 4th grade and I liked him a lot. My second daughter also had a male 4th grade teacher (though not the same one). My daughters have also had male teachers in Middle School and High School…still fine with it!

1b) Personally I think it is wonderful when men work as teachers, at all levels. I work for Head Start and many children are without fathers/father figures and so a male teacher would be a plus. I do not consider a man any more likely to be abusive in any way than a woman. I expect that all prospective teachers, regardless of gender, are screened appropriately.

2) I think it’s too bad that the field of education does not attract men, particularly in the elementary grades, for several reasons. First, children will need to learn to interact with both genders throughout their life. Second, at various stages of their development boys respond better to men/girls to women and so it seems unfair to boys that the profession is slanted so much toward women. Finally, I think it is healthy for children to see men in “care giver” roles (e.g. working with younger children). Boys should start out young viewing positive parenting role models, just like girls do.

I’ve noticed that when men are around, children respond very positively. There is a male aide at the school where I work and the children adore him. Men and women both have special traits they bring to the table, I think it is preferable when children can be exposed to all of those traits.