I entered 5th grade, back in 1989, when I had my first male teacher. I was scared all summer when I found out I was in “his” class. I heard all the horror stories “he’s mean, he yells, he throws desks” I heard him yell myself and saw him pick up a kid who had kicked him and spit in his face– so yeah I was scared and nervous. But once school started– and the relationship began between teacher and student– I had So much FUN… it was amazing he was one of the best teachers I had at that school. And I understood why he yelled or “throw desks”… kids don’t always pay attention and can be very fresh. He used his masculinity as a management tool. When a kid would flip him off or swear at him, he’d raise his off. We knew what our place was but also knew how much fun he was!! My love for science grew in his class and I enjoyed his sense of humor!

I think it’s natural for us to be scared/nervous of things unknown especially when we’re told “horror stories” or hear things like “male teacher arrested for viewing porn in his classroom” With the media’s negative view of teachers (both men and women) it’s not surprising that children are scared. We (as educators and parents) need to show both sides of the story and not let one side leave a bad impression. I hope my own story helps!