[MenTeach is often contacted about false allegations. This is one’s man’s story. He asked that his name remain confidential.]
I didn’t get a lawyer but if I had it to do over again, at first hint of an allegation, I would have gotten the best lawyer in the city to hunt down the two mothers who had personal vendettas against me and decided to concoct this (almost) career shattering allegation.
I am a young (29) male teacher with a wife and three daughters. My wife stays at home with our children so I really don’t need to lose my job. I’ll never forget what my profs at college told me:
“Daniel, you got to realize that the world out there doesn’t think highly of male elementary teachers, they are going to doubt first, always suspect there is something wrong with you because you are in a woman’s world, and always, always believe the child over you.”
Well, there you have it. I am doing my Masters right now and have chosen to do a qualitative study (micro-research, 30-40 pgs.) on male teachers/classroom behavior management skills, specifically with social perceptions being my focus.
Though it may not be politically correct, the truth is that people out there (our U.S. headlines and 7 o’clock news-naive society) are as biased as the day is long. They expect male teachers to be more efficient at managing classroom behavior, especially with the “rowdy” boys and subsequently (though it is sexism in the least) administrators are funneling these students into the male teacher’s classrooms.
Parents have these higher standards for male teachers and don’t understand why that is wrong, unfair, unjust, sexist.
By the way, I spent seven days on paid administrative leave w/ the School District and then the local police had a five day investigation into it and everyone found out the truth, I was allowed to return to school, but was given some pretty difficult guidelines to follow for the remainder of this school year.
I teach 2nd grade and was the most hugged teacher, probably in the nation, by students. They hug me because they want to. They hug me because they know I care about them. They hug me because I ask about the uncle’s step-sister’s friend’s rabbit that got a cold – I know this stuff because I REALLY listen to them and keep tabs on their lives. They hug me because they go home and don’t feel loved by anyone. They hug me because I am a huggable person and I’m that way because I go home everyday and hug my girls and wife.
I know the hugging rules, I’ve been in this game and seen the sue-happy nuts that are looking for a reason to burn my butt, my family’s only source of income, and my life passion/teaching out of me.
I hate the stereotypes that male elementary teachers are perverts, child molesters, whatever they want to call us and I have fought daily since returning whether to become a statistic-drop-out-male-teacher.
I definitely need some male counterparts like the ones provided in this organization. I also would love to be pointed in any direction that may provide me some research in the area of my research.
Anonymous by request.