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Gscalerajr, I recently started subbing last November closer to home after leaving an urban elementary school after 8 years. I got burned out there. Anyway, in the short time I’ve been subbing, I’ve noticed something. The classroom aids were extremely impressed with how much more behaved and focused the students were with me than the regular teacher. If you meet me face-to-face, I’m in my early thirties and look like I’m barely out of high school. Several parents like how I do things and maintain control of a class. One even called administration on my behalf. The teachers I have subbed for tell me they liked me and wanted to request me again. Principals are impressed with me. Even the sub caller told me I’m one of the more preferred subs. Back when I was in college, I was told by many professors how I would be snatched up in an instant. Yeah! Right! As if! Thing is, everyone knows that male teachers are needed. Teachers, aids, parents, the kids, possibly principals, and professors. The only people who have yet to receive that memo are the ones doing the hiring. I mentioned the kids in my list because when a bunch of retirements happened in one district, the kids were telling me about the possible openings. Now why would they tell me that if they weren’t aware of the need for male teachers? We’re like the elephant in the living room, only the ones who see us aren’t in a position to help us.
Hi Andy….just read about your thesis…sounds very interesting!! I, too have wondered what to do about attracting more males to early childhood teaching and why men feel inclined to go into HS or college teaching rather than elementary.
Some background……I taught Elementary School for 33 years in NYState….early in the 1970’s, I began teaching 4th grade, later in mid 80’s went to 2nd grade, and then in 1988-2004 taught kindergarten! Of all the grade levels, kindergarten was so awesome!!! It was such an exciting career and I really enjoyed it! Over the years, I had many student teachers….but never a male! I am currently supervising Student Teachers out here at ASU and have succeeded in encouraging 1 male to get into kindergarten teaching and he reports that he likes it a lot.
Contact me if you want more information or need someone to interview…more than willing to help.
email@example.comAugust 8, 2007 at 1:19 pm in reply to: helping young girls overcome issues w/ male teachers #8128
Is it common for girls to be scared of male practitioners? I ask because when I started placements in daycare nursery setting, as a student, 2 days per week, I created rapport with the children fast, except for 2 little girls aged about 2 and 2 and a half. I attended 2 days per week, yet after 5 weeks, these two girls still cry every time I attempted to enage them. Each time, they would immediately start crying for ‘daddy’. Incidentally, I purposely didn’t address them or make direct eye contact with them in 3rd and 4th weeks, so as to avoid setting them off and to show them that I was not a threat. Often I would address or engage adjacent children quite alright but the monet, I again attempted to engege those two girls, they would again just get anxious and cry.
I expressed my frustration & the circumstances to my colleagues, mentor and my tutors and peers. My colleagues simply said, ‘Oh, both those children are quite new still and their parents say the girls cry when any man except their dad is in the room or approaches them.’ This seems a bit odd but is this a common experience?
My placement was cancelled and my mentor used this problem as one of the reasons why she didn’t want me to continue my placement there because she said that it demonstrated that I ‘lack insight of childhood development and appropriate ways to engage children’. She also complained that because the children were scared of me, my colleagues had to sometimes remove the child into a different adjacent room of the younger or the older age groups, plus the child did not attend on 1 or more occassions- neither or which I was aware of.
I feel that the mentor is blaming me for the setting’s problem, when it’s not really my responsibility, but theirs to address how to handle the child’s fear of men, incl. myself; plus advise me how to interact ( I received no guidance or feedback that they were taking steps to remove the child, when I was present).
I feel like how they handled this issues is another form of hidden gender discrimination- what do you guys think though? In my placee, the colleagues’ place or the mentor’s place, what steps or advice would you have taken?
Any references to articles, books, research, please add a link here. Thanks.
I really admire how you dealt with a very challenging situation.
Well done and such a great model for everyone else.