“I am presenting in a couple weeks at our state conference and my topic is “Open forum: Understanding the Male ECE Teacher.” I am hoping to get  a lot of questions and discussion to help create future presentations.

I attend men in Early Childhood Education sessions when they are offered at conferences and I feel there is a lack of people discussing what exactly it is like being an only male at your job. I also feel, from my own experiences, that it can be very discouraging to males going into our line of work. It can be stressful at times and rough trying to get your point across. I tend to not fight as much for what I believe because I feel like my ideas are disregarded because they are different. I also find a tad unfair that I am forced to look at things from their point of view and it seems like there is not as much of an effort to look at things from my point of view. I work with 10 women and, (right now), 14 lead student teachers who are women and then around 30 or so assistant student teachers who are usually, and are now, all women. Whenever I am passionate about things I am told I am emotional, as it is a bad thing for a man apparently. I enjoy all of the people I work with but sometimes become very frustrated with being the only male.

I know am kind worried as to where I am going to actually going to go with this. I am thinking that to provoke discussion I am going to share stories, my own and whoever else I can get, of frustrations that I have dealt with.

I also attended a difference in male and female brain session at NAEYC this past year and plan on maybe sharing some of the differences that occur.

My issue is that the more I think about and plan my session I feel like people are going to think I am woman bashing, which is the farthest thing that I want to happen. I am hoping to maybe shed some light on why a male coworker might do what he does that may, for lack of a better word, bug them. I feel that “lonely” feeling and feeling of not being heard may also may be one reason why this profession has so few males. I also hope find out what women actual thoughts are to help build my presentation for further use.

If you think you could help me with any stories or ideas about the subject I would greatly appreciate it. I would also appreciate your thoughts on whether or not you think this is a valid idea. I am by no means an expert other than being a male and honestly not totally sure if this is the way that other males feel.”

Nathan Jonaitis
natejonaitis at gmail.com