[MenTeach: This is an interesting blogpost from a male teacher. He tells an interesting story about his getting hired and cites numerous articles on the internet. This is an excerpt.]
Why is there a lack of male teachers in the elementary school grades? I find it to be a very fulfilling job, so where are all the other guys? In this article, “It’s elementary: Male teachers rare-Primary school is still mainly a woman’s world” from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer we are introduced to a third grade teacher Andrew Bean. He explains why teaching can be a very rewarding job when he says that teaching “…can be exhausting and very demanding, but I see it as this constant intellectual challenge … you have to be constantly thinking on your feet. I wish that could be understood and honored and respected.” I think this is a key explanation about why some men enjoy the art of teaching (and women too!). Everyday is new and different and you never know what problems you will have to solve or what challenges you may face.
So where are the male teachers? The article claims that nationwide only 17 percent of elementary school teachers are male. I wonder if that includes gym teachers and other non-classroom teachers in the percentages. It seems high to me. In my 21 years at Mount Pleasant School there have never been more that two male classroom teachers at a time in the school and often I have been the only male classroom teacher in the entire school. In fact when teachers have been brought together from different schools for grade level meetings, I have often found myself alone in a room full of 30-50 females or maybe with one or two other guy teachers. Last year I went to a conference for teachers at Reading First schools in New Hampshire to hear Isabel Beck speak. As I looked around at the approximately 200 teachers in the audience, I saw Mr. Geer, the principal of my school, another male administrator, and no other male representatives. I was the only male classroom teacher in attendance.