by Joseph David Nowakowski Jr

I am a elementary education major (1-5) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Currently I am a junior and have completed my Praxis I exam. I will be graduating in the Spring of 2010 and simply cannot wait to teach young children. I heard about your organization from the article on “Percentage of Male Teachers Hits 40-year Low” and being as I am currently in college to become exactly that, I was hoping your organization to could help or assist me.

I had many of the same questions myself, and have encountered some rather rude people who ask me why I would want to teach at the elementary grade level; it’s discouraging at times. However, I’ve wanted to be a teacher and help children and people for a long time. Not only do I realize we lack in the male teachers but I also realize that it can be so beneficial for children to see a successful man teaching at their level.

Recently I taught at Dodson Elementary in New Iberia, Louisiana as part of my requirements for Health 300 where I designed and taught a unit on Drugs, Alcohol and Other Dangerous Drugs. After I taught for the week I had been given, I knew that there was nothing else in the world that I would want to do except teach. It’s terribly sad that more males are not going into the lower grade levels.

For me, it was awkward at first going into the Elementary Education major because I was the only male in my classes. People and even some of the teachers would tell me “I know why you picked this major” and give me that little smirk I have grown accustomed to. More or less they were saying I picked my major based on the fact that I would be around all females. Shame on them for telling me this.

Thank you,

Joseph David Nowakowski Jr.