Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Male Teachers Under Scrutiny

Not that we will have to worry much longer--the pool of male teachers is dwindling--thanks in part, to scrutiny like this (Thanks Trevor):

Negative comments and raised eyebrows also have affected aspiring male kindergarten teachers in recent years, said Pam Fleege, associate professor of early childhood education at the University of South Florida.

"It's very sad. Male students have come to me after they've been challenged by their own families and friends," Fleege said. "Some are accused of being pedophiles. But they mostly get a lot of, 'What are you going to say when a parent confronts you?'"

Confrontations with suspicious parents are rare, teachers say. That could be because parents who are uncomfortable with a man teaching their children often request a female teacher.

Those requests are honored every year by Carol Hughes, principal of Leila G. Davis Elementary in Clearwater. She leads the only Pinellas County or Hillsborough County public school with two male kindergarten teachers.

Tamara Lowe, whose son was in Goldstein's kindergarten class years ago, said that when her son was assigned to Goldstein she contacted Berkley Prep officials to "express concern about the wisdom of having a young man teach kindergarten."

If a male teacher encounters fearful parents, the key is to involve them in the class as much as possible, said Brian Esparza, who teaches at Leila G. Davis.

"You just have to get to know them, let them get to know you, and win them over," Esparza said. "You get those kinds of parents, but I hear a lot more of the flip side, people happy that their child has a male role model in kindergarten."

Principals take many requests to place children with male kindergarten teachers. That opportunity, though, is available at a small percentage of schools.

In Pinellas, eight of 418 kindergarten teachers, or almost 2 percent, are men. In Hillsborough, there are 13 men and 764 women, again almost 2 percent

In Pasco County, the numbers are higher than the 9 percent national average. That nationwide number, though, is at a 40-year low, the National Education Association says.

Of the 884 Pasco kindergarten teachers, 105 are men, almost 12 percent. In Pasco, kindergarten, first- and second-grade students are educated together, based on their achievement levels.

As I dropped my daughter off at school today, I noticed that all of the safety patrollers were girls, not a boy in sight. Her elementary school held elections for class President and Supreme Court--the nominees--all girls except one. A coincidence? Maybe--but my guess is that early in the education game, boys are being marginalized. But hey, as long as the payback against the male sex is alive and well, and no one seems to put up much of a fight, it will continue. But my question is, how much revenge is enough?


Blogger David A. Carlson said...

But has there ever been a significant number of K teachers who are men?

My perception is that lower grade teaching (pre k, k-3) has always been largely the domain of women.

Statistics would be nice - I am not aware of any however

8:12 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger DADvocate said...

My 9 year old daughter, now in the 4th grade, had a male primary classroom teacher in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. In this particular conservative small town male teachers are valued.

Parents are allowed to request certain teachers in the younger grades. The male teachers were the most requested receiving many more requests than could be granted. Requests were granted on a first come first serve basis.

These teachers did a great job also. My daughter loved them all. Too bad that in many places they are viewed with suspicion and disdain. And, of course, there are some parents that will do almost anything to absolve their kid of any responsibility for poor performance or misbehavior.

10:02 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Richard P. said...

I went to a small Catholic grade school in Saint Louis. I had one male teacher in 9 years. He taught gym and art, and art only because they had no one else. I am now only 23 so it was not that long ago.
Also, I wonder about this marginalization. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I just wonder where the counter punch is going to take place and how. Everything finds equilibrium.

10:14 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger David Foster said...

"Those requests (for female rather than male teachers) are honored every year by Carol Hughes, principal of Leila G. Davis Elementary in Clearwater"...I would wonder about the legality of this, unless there is specific language in the antidiscrimination laws allowing for gender discrimination in early education.

I don't think there's any question that if certain customers asked a company for male rather than female sales reps to be assigned, and the company had a policy of complying with those requests, the company would be in trouble when the practice came to light.

10:22 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think the school runs afoul of gender discrimination laws by taking requests for specific teachers. If it happens that the male teachers are more popular, well, that's life. You can ask a company to deal with a specific sales rep. if you know him personally, for example.

10:31 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...


Yes, I would think asking for a specific teacher would be okay--because of the qualifications--e.g. heard they were a great teacher etc. but it strikes me as being in a different category if parents ask for a specific sex. Would it be okay to say, "I only want my child with a black or white teacher?"

10:36 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is nothing new. I went to elementary school in the 50's (back when NO ONE went to kinder) and there was only 1 male teacher in the rather large school. It was so unusual that I can remember his name after 45 years, even though I never had him for a teacher.

10:53 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is particularly sad since the rise of the single-parent [predominantly female] household. These kids could use a positive, loving, stable male role model in their lives.

10:54 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would echo David's first comment, that el ed has always been female-dominated. I'd like to see a study that examines education programs to see if there is bias against males who wish to become elementary-school teachers. (i.e. how many apply to the major vs. how many matriculate.) Unless there's proof that schools are turning away qualified male undergrads, there are likely to be other reasons few men choose this profession. Low pay and long hours are two reasons that spring to mind; a third is lack of administrative control, especially in the public schools where teachers can be shunted around a district at will.

Also, and related, the number of stay-at-home dads is growing but is still a minority. Our culture does not reinforce men's ability or choice to care for young children, which I suspect is another underlying reason that men rarely choose elementary education as a career path.

10:55 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

This post is not just about the paucity of male teachers. It is about stigmitizing and marginalizing the ones who are there by acting frightened that they are pedophiles, weirdos etc. In addition, I wonder if boys are being marginalized in education and if so, how that will play out in our society. I think we are already seeing boys who turn into men who do not go to college and/or more who live at home, and do not marry.

11:21 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would a male want to teach in grade schools? I for one am very afraid of false accusations of sexual abuse. I think kids are great. I would love to be active in the Boy Scouts. But I am an unmarried male in my 30s. There is no way I am putting myself in a situation where I could be accused of something and have my reputation ruined.

11:45 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I taught (for a short time) in the NYC public school system, I noticed that the vast majority of my students (early HS) were from single-parent, female-lead households. One of my mentors, a wonderful young Jamaican-American woman, bemoaned the fact that she herself had never had a father figure in her family and couldn't imagine finding a man in her community whom she could trust to build a family with.

A school system which is primarily matriarchal leaves young men with no role models outside of the "shining examples" of the streets, MTV, and sports "heroes." The process is self-perpetuating for multiple reasons. One that I noted was that the young men tended to have far more respect for the female teachers than for the male teachers, probably because of their ingrained matriarchal attitudes. This tends to lead to many men leaving the system early and feeding an extremely vicious cycle.

The school system should bend over backwards to recruit male teachers at all levels, and do their best to hold on to them.

11:54 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The assumption I see woven throughout several posts on this site is that somehow the education system has shifted in significant ways in the past few years to significantly disadvantage boys. I find this a problematic assumption because I'm not seeing hard evidence of such a shift. There aren't fewer male teachers than there used to be. There aren't fewer opportunities for boys to be competitive (standardized testing has created more such opportunities). Classroom practices by and large haven't changed toward the "feminine" either--students have always been required to sit in their seats, study quietly, and follow specific rules. A history of education class would go a long way for many of your readers.

If it is true that more middle-class boys are opting out of college more than, say, ten years ago, what are they doing instead? Are parents enabling young male adults to live at home without employment, while kicking their daughters out of the nest? If so, couldn't that also be seen as a gender bias against young women?

The additional social stigma/ pedophilia fear you mention also applies to female teachers, as one of your posters hinted above in his "well, aren't the WOMEN causing the problems" post. Fear of child abuse and ridiculous restrictions (you can't receive hugs from an elementary-school child unless you turn to the side, for example) apply to teachers of both genders. Round-the-clock media coverage makes it seem as though more sexual abuse is happening in schools than ever, when statistically that's simply not the case. Multiple posts on this site posit a "war against boys" but can't back this up with more than anecdotal data. The issues you are concerned about are real, but I would argue that they're social issues often based in class expectations (i.e. college=only path to success), not on gender biases.

11:54 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Al Maviva said...

In higher ed the ratio of female/male students is 60:40, and it is only that high because many schools practice affirmative action favoring male applicants.

It's interesting to note that the highest priority agenda item for the Asst. Secty. of Education for Civil Rights appears to be forcing universities to get more women into engineering and hard sciences grad programs and teaching positions. I guess some disparities are more equal than others.

11:55 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger David A. Carlson said...

This is the 1st david, not the second

My impression has been that most men consider teaching younger children to be "beneath them" and not important enough - thats why they do not get into it (generally)

That should get me flamed.

As to the stigmatizing issue - I am just not sure that is again anything new. Perhaps newly reported, but not a new issue.

11:55 AM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we are already seeing boys who turn into men who do not go to college and/or more who live at home, and do not marry.

They're living at home because they can't find work that pays enough for them to set up their own household.

Why? Not necessarily because they lack education, but because good jobs, including white collar jobs, are going overseas. In addition, the dollar has devalued much more and the cost of middle class living in the US is much more expensive than the American ruling oligarchy will publicly admit.

Dr. Helen, I wish you would quit pushing the Education Establishment propaganda that MORE EDUCATION (TM), at least in a merely quantitative sense, is the panacea for all ills.

And yes, I'd suspect that any man who wants to teach K-6 classroom is a weirdo. To contend otherwise is to push the radical feminist "men should should be just like women" party line.

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

12:00 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother-in-law used to teach kindergarten. Past tense. A child's mother made a false and unsubstantiated allegation -- which was investigated by the police and dismissed. But that wasn't good enough for the School Board: my brother-in-law was placed on involuntary leave for months while the School Board "investigated" (never mind that the police had already declined to press any charges).

The "investigation" turned out to be "look for any other excuse" to get rid of a male teacher. Eventually, of course, they found one (Rule #43782: do not read espn.com during lunch break). 'Course, he was an easy target as he was not a member of the socialist teacher's union.

School Board's rationale: (a) it's really really hard to prove wrongful termination (b) it costs a lot more than a two-teacher family can afford to fight it (c) we might tick off one family of voters; big deal. OTOH, if there is a 0.00000001% chance that this guy IS a perp, and it came out later in a case in which there WERE evidence, we'd be pilloried in the press and lose election if it became known that we reinstated this guy after a prior accusation -- even if that prior accusation had no merit or evidence.


So tell me why any man would willingly subject himself to that environment: Thou art innocent until accused. Then you're guilty. And you won't be given a chance to prove otherwise; if you try to fight it in court, the mere accusation becomes public record -- which is enough to ruin your name anyway. And your reward for a successful fight: you get to go BACK to that same work environment and industry , in which male teachers are guilty by definition. Is it any wonder my brother-in-law said Forget that?

A comment above advises that school systems should "bend over backwards to recruit male teachers" Uh huh -- good luck with that.

12:01 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...I would wonder about the legality of this,

Would it be okay to say, "I only want my child with a black or white teacher?"

Possibly. A parent's request isn't employment discrimination per se, as long as the the purported discrimination 'victim'
has enough students to maintain a class. Student assignment doesn't constitute a job action until the lack of students for the teacher in question impacts the ability to do the job, earn advancement, or remain employed.

It's interesting the way discrimination law works. If you want your sink fixed at home, and call looking for a white plumber, nothing will happen to you. If you go into a restaurant and insist on a white waiter, that's OK. However, if ALL customers insist on a white waiter, the restaurant owner still cannot legally hire in accordance with his customers' demands. It's only the 'evil' corporations that the law impacts, never the end consumer. Why is the consumer's racism any less pernicious?

12:10 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be an on-call substitute for a medium-sized school system. I taught math, chemistry, biology, etc.

Anyway, one day I got a call to teach middle-school gym. I turned her down, the only time I did. She called back five minutes later, saying she could find no one else. I still declined. She called back AGAIN, begging, saying they just needed a male teacher for the boys in the locker room. That sealed it. No way would I set myself up for accusations that way. I felt sorry for the scheduler's predicament, but not sorry enough to risk some kid deciding to lie to his parents about the sub gym teacher.

12:15 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Ree-C Murphey said...

My mother has a PhD in Educational Research and was an Administrator at a High School (an Assistant Principal.) When my husband voiced an interest in becoming a Kindergarten teacher, she told him pretty bluntly that he should not for a variety of reasons. The most important being: 1. Male teachers in elementary grades are regarded as suspicious right off the bat. The education hierarchy regards such men as "stupid" since they could not "cut" it at the higher levels of teaching in Jr. High and High School. 2. If anyone ever made an accusation, his life and the lives of his family, were toast. She said the allegations would be assumed as the truth because he is teaching in elementary school. Again the assumption is that only a male pervert would want to be around a bunch of kids.

My husband did not pursue this, and it has left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he would have been a GREAT teacher for kids and this would have enhanced their lives and been helpful to the greater good of society. On the other hand, I am relieved he didn't because I would have waited for the day that someone would accuse him of something he hasn't done.

It's a shame. There are so many kids that could use a good male role model. Instead, the trend continues to feminize and drug our boys because they are easier to handle that way.

12:25 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I would affirm part of grad03's post, I have few contrary comments. My maternal grandfather was an elementary school teacher; graduated from teachers college ca. 1921. He proudly had his graduating class' pictures posted; the vast majority of his classmates were male. This was a church-related college which almost entirely fed parochial elementary schools, so the likelihood is that these males were intent on a career in elementary education. Two other observations bear this out:

1. When I started school (early '60s), many of the "retiring" teachers seemed to be male;

2. When I visit various universities which began as Normal Schools or Teacher Colleges, photos from the pre-Depression era indicate a significant number of male graduates.

Anecdotal? Yes, of course: all science is anecdotal. Better controls and studies may be needed, but anecdotal evidence should be appropriately weighted.

My understanding is that teaching long has had a large female component compared to other professional jobs. This may be due to teaching and the care of children (governess) long being an allowable employment for females. OTOH, there does seem to have been a change post-WWII, when the elementary teaching force shifted to being predominately female.

BTW, my kids had male teachers (public school) at the kindergarten and second grade level. (One was a retired B-52 bombardier.) They didn't have a male teacher again until 8th or 7th grade. In discussions with the (female) elementary school principal, she mentioned that she thought it extremely fortunate to have two male teachers: many of her elementary principal colleagues had none.

12:36 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is particularly sad since the rise of the single-parent [predominantly female] household. These kids could use a positive, loving, stable male role model in their lives."

Gee I guess I was *lucky* since my parents were oh so ahead of their time that I was able to experience all this circa 1954. Amicable divorce was tres moderne.

At that time the young GIs were entering the teacher ranks and I had several for 2nd and 3rd grade and fell in love with one very applealing Mr. Harris. It's a good thing I was an ugly kid because I was definitely susceptible to adult men. They were very, very obviously substitute daddies and it was a pretty sad state of affairs.

That's the breaks for having such a moderne childhood.

12:39 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just sharing this story:

More than 20 years ago, my first teaching job fresh out of grad school (well, almost. . .I spent six unproductive months as a copywriter at an ad agency run by a real cheap-ass) was at a Catholic girls school. I was 24 years old and dead meat from the first day of class.

I was only there as a part-time teacher, responsible for a journalism class (which produced the newspaper and the yearbook), a senior English class, and a freshman advanced English class.

After we returned from Christmas break, right before semester finals, I was called into the principal's office and told that my students weren't learning anything. I was asked to resign (for which I would receive a month's severance pay). If I wouldn't, I would be fired on the spot. I was also told to leave quietly and not tell my students.

If they were not learning anything, that wasn't evidenced to me. My evaluations from the vice-principal were positive, test scores were good, we got out one issue of the school paper (which we completely redesigned to be an actual paper on newsprint, not photocopied onto 11" x 14 sheets of paper and folded like a brochure, as previous issues had been) and were set to put out another one, I guest instructed some lessons on Poe in the department head's junior English class. . .in short, it never occured to me that my students "weren't learning anything."

My sister-in-law, who taught in the public school system, had a theory: these girls were going home and telling their parents about this young male English teacher, and that probably didn't sit well with them. There were two other male teachers on staff, but they were older, married, and had been there a few years. My sister-in-law believed that some of these parents threatened to remove their daughters if something wasn't done about me.

The mother of one of my journalism students taught with my sister at one of the Catholic elementary schools, and I heard from her that on the Monday I didn't return, my journalism students staged a walkout. My replacement had yet to be hired, and the teacher filling in for me had a mild panic attack when it happened and had to be sent home. A month later, after the replacement was hired, the newspaper staff ran a little, belated "goodbye" to me in the second issue of the paper. My replacement got it trouble for letting it run.

The school itself closed several years ago, and I only recently found out that it had been having money problems as far back as before the time I arrived there to teach. If indeed some parents were threatening the principal with removing their daughters, then I was probably some kind of patsy. If my students "weren't learning anything," then I should have been counseled and monitored more closely, just like I had been as a student teacher.

Even now, after more than two decades, I still feel upset when I think about what happened to me. I did eventually return to the classroom as an adjunct faculty member at two of the local colleges, where my students DID learn something. I'm not in teaching anymore, but that scar from so long ago still feels fresh at times.

12:41 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Andrew said...

My daughter had a male teacher in second grade. It was the best educational experience she has had, and set her on the way to being a high achiever.

That same teacher moved to the fifth grade the next year. When my daughter was going into the fifth grade, I inquired about placing her with him again. The principal told me that I could give her a set of guidelines for the "type" of teacher we would like for her, but the school board would not let her honor requests for specific teachers. She coached me as to how to word it to ensure we got him.

That summer we got a new principal, and she refused to look at any parent requests at all. Gotta love that consistency.

12:45 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Kel said...

grad03: "Multiple posts on this site posit a "war against boys" but can't back this up with more than anecdotal data."

That is the most ludicris statement I've seen. Have you READ "The War Against Boys"? It's a book. Read it. Perhaps then you can come back and disagree with it.

Here's a hint, though: when something like 58% of college attendees are female, there's a statistical problem.

12:48 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger mark beadles said...

As I dropped my daughter off at school today, I noticed that all of the safety patrollers were girls, not a boy in sight.

Wow, I never even thought about it until you called it to my attention -- but the same thing is true at my sons' public elementary school in central Ohio. All the safety patrol children are female; every last one! That is more than passing strange...

And regarding the comment above saying "And yes, I'd suspect that any man who wants to teach K-6 classroom is a weirdo." What a shame that anyone really thinks that way. And totally illogical to boot. Why, there are TENS OF MILLIONS of men in the US alone who spend 8+ hours a day, every day, in a close, unsupervised position with responsibility for education of multiple children of all ages, including elementary and even pre-K.

They are called FATHERS. If men can be fathers to young kids, why can't they be teachers?

12:50 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have worked in three different school districts, in urban and suburban environments. I can say with certainty that if a parent makes a request for a certain teacher, for any reason, this request will be seriously considered and probably honored. Schools try as hard as possible to work with parents and to incorporate their concerns about their child's education. Would you prefer that they didn't? But this means that often schools must honor some ugly requests from parents. Only a black, white, male, female, teacher - absolutely. It is a reality.

Furthermore, I work in an elementary school, k-8, where there is at least a male teacher in every grade, many in leadership positions in the school like fundraising and the PTA. I am also in a Masters program in a School of Education. I wish there were more men in the program. We need to strike that balance.

The perception of society at large needs to be addressed first. Why don't men enroll in more education programs? Why is education not considered a "good" job for men? Why is it considered "the women's realm"? Why do people think it is scandalous when a man wants to persue a career path working with children? I beleive there is an element of sexism in the answer to all of these questions.

12:56 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such scrutiny and potential for false accusation is why I stopped teaching swimming lessons in college. Try to find male WSI, or at least one who actually gets in the water. It just doesn't happen anymore.

12:59 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger pst314 said...

"any man who wants to teach K-6 classroom is a weirdo."

I was fortunate enough to have several male teachers in early grade school, so I know from experience that you are utterly and pathetically full of it.

"To contend otherwise is to push the radical feminist 'men should should be just like women' party line."

Please don't twist every aspect of life to fit your political obsessions. Yes, radical feminism is pernicious and foolish, but you sound like their mirror image.

1:08 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The presumption of male malevolence not only discourages men from becoming teachers, it also has other consequences. Ask, for example, the parents of two-year old Abigail Rae, when they learned that a male bricklayer declined to stop when he spotted Abigail walking alone. See:


This has been discussed in other blogs, also. I googled this one up:


1:39 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sydney C,

I have read Sommers' War Against Boys. And she has the same problem: she completely overlooks socioeconomic factors in her analysis and (like many social scientists) chooses her data very selectively to support her point.

Don't assume people who disagree with you are ignorant of the relevant materials to the argument.

1:55 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...


Thanks for the links, the story in the UK about the little toddler is truly sad. I guess I would have stopped to help but men cannot take the chance of ending up as a suspect and in jail--all of this emphasis on men as perps, pedophiles and "weirdos" does a lot more damage to kids than people realize. Ultimately, it is children who are paying for the lack of male attention and involvement.

2:14 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen -

The presumption of male malevolence shows up other places, as well. Here's just one more example:


And confirmed here:


2:23 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

I am a man working in a female dominated profession. I am a psychologist who does work with children, many of whom have been sexually abused. The funny thing is I never worry about false allegations of my touching a child and there has never been one in 15 years in the field.

I sought this area because I think it is important for the kids to have a good relationship with a man who does not touch them. I still think that! Learning how to spot a trustworthy man is a very important skill for abused children, and seeing me helps them to get part of the unconscious imprint of what a safe male acts like. Also, most of us men think a little differently than most of you women. Not different like good and bad, but different like good and good. It is good for us to know and have experience with how the other gender tends to think.

But my daughter has very little contact with other men besides me. Thankfully at her school, her computer and art teachers were/are men. Sadly her uncles live far away and my dad died.

Working in the field of sexual abuse recovery, I do not worry about men, but adults. My daughter's safety training was not gender oriented, it was safety oriented.

I understand that the culture fears men, but I am coming to believe that abuse is a human, not a male problem.


2:24 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But my question is, how much revenge is enough?

Revenge is an interesting word to describe US womens' mind set.

I had come to America several years ago from Hungary. Being a single well-paid professional at the time, I was introduced to single women by my friends and colleagues. Let me tell you that the experience of dating American women was very frustrating. I felt that I had been mistaken for a psychologist. It is evident that many women in the US have emotional challenges, and I think that 'revenge' describes their subconscious motives well in many cases. But this is not a normal revenge to even the score, it is like the revenge of an angry child towards their parent. That is, when they say that they believe that you will harm them, they do not mean to be taken seriously - if you leave then they are offended! I think that this is part of the problem, that American women do not expect that their words are taken seriously and so they do not state their feelings in a reasonable way and do not feel that they have the responsibility to behave in a mature manner.

Now I am married to a Ukrainian girl, so I don't have these problems. If she is angry or sad, she will tell me and we will work together to make things better - not like children.

2:28 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a male teacher (Retired Army officer) at an Elementary school for one year. I was one of two male teachers in the entire school and the only white male. I was loved by all, especially since many of the students did not have a male role model at home, therefore I was greatly appreciated in our school. It was the best year of my teaching career, but I had to move and went to teaching High School students Math at the request of the county due to NCLB.

2:28 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a male teacher (Retired Army officer) at an Elementary school for one year. I was one of two male teachers in the entire school and the only white male. I was loved by all, especially since many of the students did not have a male role model at home, therefore I was greatly appreciated in our school. It was the best year of my teaching career, but I had to move and went to teaching High School students Math at the request of the county due to NCLB.

2:29 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen,

The more I read of you, the more I am convinced that you should have your own nationally syndicated radio show.

Like Laura Schlessinger, you have a contempt for the shibboleths of the left.

Unlike Dr. Laura, I think your relaxed and more secular outlook will not only appeal to the conservatives to which she used to appeal, but to a lot of libertarians and non-religious conservatives.

I can't begin to think how many men (and how many women married to them) would find you a refreshing change from the constant demonization, dehumanization, and vilification of men that wen get 24/7 in the news media, in Hollywood, and in Academia at all levels.

And you can't use lack of time as an excuse...after all, you are married to Glenn Reynolds! [Of whom it has been said that if he had been alive in ancient times, Rome WOULD have been built in a day.... :-) ]

2:31 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 2:31,

I am not sure to take the Dr. Laura comparison as a compliment or an insult! I am lazy and no one wants me to do a syndicated radio show so I am sticking with podcasts where I can do my own thing.

2:41 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen:

I think if you re-read my post, you will see I meant it as a strong compliment. I am pointing out that you would appeal to a much broader base of non-politically correct people than she did.

And, it is precisely because of the podcasting that I think you can take the next step.

You have a lot of positive, and uplifting things to say to a lot of people, especially men. Even as the premiere non-liberal weblog in the USA, Instapundit gets about 150,000 - 175,000 viewers a day. Even a modestly successful radio show would get a million.

And if you are lazy, then I am a Communist....

2:54 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen wrote:
"But hey, as long as the payback against the male sex is alive and well, and no one seems to put up much of a fight, it will continue."

In another thread you advocated that men and boys do not fight back against bullies because they might run afoul of various authorities. You discourage fighting back, then complain because no one is putting up much of a fight.

Can you clarify your position?

2:56 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beleive there is an element of sexism in the answer to all of these questions.

Yes, because a certain degree of sexism is the truth.

Elem. Ed. is women's work.

Maybe get a man to be Phys. Ed. teacher, but make sure he keeps his paws off the kiddies.

... but I had to move and went to teaching High School students Math at the request of the county due to NCLB.

Men's work. ... And keep the boodalicious babes out of high school teaching, even if they're good at math.

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

3:08 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen,

Perhaps you'd like to blog sometime on the perceived effects of having a child's school experience (a majority of their waking hours) dominated by women? Perhaps this subject has been covered adequately elsewhere, but I haven't seen it.

A friend of mine, who teaches music in 2 elementary schools, reports that one school has 0 male teachers and administrators (except for him) and the other only 2 male teachers. He reports that the boys, especially, seem hungry for attention and communication with a man. He is, apparently, extremely popular among the students, a state of affairs he modestly declines to attribute solely to his magnetic personality and vivacious teaching style.

It is, IMHO, self-evident that absence of a father is an indicator of significant and detrimental effects to children. It should be similarly self-evident that a paucity of men in schools will have some kind of detrimental effect. (Check: If 98% of teachers and admin were men, wouldn't the PC crowd be apoplectic as they bemoaned the effects of lack of diversity?) But this subject is a third rail; nobody in a position of influence dares touch it.


3:20 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had two male teachers in elementary school and they were both excellent. I don't think anyone thought anything about it.

3:29 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger mdmnm said...

Helen wrote:
"In addition, I wonder if boys are being marginalized in education and if so, how that will play out in our society. I think we are already seeing boys who turn into men who do not go to college and/or more who live at home, and do not marry."
Like Grad03, I have a hard time with the idea that boys are being marginalized in elementary and high school education. I've been following these threads for a while now and have been struck by the many comments that the way school is taught isn't very friendly toward boys; that it isn't competitive enough, there is too much time sitting and good, that is, non-disruptive behavior is over-emphasized. Strangely enough, throughout my primary education I was required to sit still, pay attention, and avoid disrupting the class. Those boys who managed that, like those girls, did better in school. Competition was provided by grades. Heck, read "Tom Sawyer"! Tom was skipping class and getting whaled-on for disruptive behavior while Betsy was a star pupil. What's changed?
As for the numbers of women vs. men in college, I do wonder if we aren't seeing the natural outcome of a couple of generations of college being available to women on an equal basis, higher education being prized both by and for women, and an increasing number of girls who have the goal of "go to school, get a career, then get married" vs. "go to school, get married, raise a family". The boys probably would have been beaten out by the girls in college applications all along, but for the idea that women didn't really _need_ to go to college, given their expected role in life.
To those young men living at home without going to college, I'd pretty much have to say "man up". When did autonomy and self reliance stop being prized? I'm not exactly a poster child, I lived at home for most of my undergraduate education for financial reasons. It wasn't my favorite choice, but I was grateful for the opportunity to reduce my debt load from education. I couldn't (and can't) see living with my parents as a lifestyle.

3:35 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I dropped my daughter off at school today, I noticed that all of the safety patrollers were girls, not a boy in sight. Her elementary school held elections for class President and Supreme Court--the nominees--all girls except one. A coincidence? Maybe--but my guess is that early in the education game, boys are being marginalized.

It's not a coincidence, and your guess is right, and has been for a long time not only in early education but all the way through high school and college(as Christina Hoff Sommers pointed out many years ago). In virtually all areas outside of organized sports, girls have much higher participation and leadership rates than boys--student government, extra-curricular music programs, National Honor Society, etc., etc.

It's one reason I've been bemused by all the Title IX hoopla. It wasn't enough that girls and young women were dominating most student life and, interestingly, the kind of activities that probably bear more of a relationship to how the world works after you graduate. Nope, you needed a law effectively putting schools on trial unless they created parity in sports, whether the female student body had equal passion for it or not.

And here we are.

3:53 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen and others,

I encourage you to voice your concerns to the principal of your kids school, to the school board, etc. regarding lack of male teachers, poor performance in school by boys, etc.

Getting the word on on blogs is great, but to really be an army of Davids, we need to connect with those that can do something.

I know there are a lot principals who don't care, but I think people should at least try. I corresponded with our kids' principal regarding how boys are doing at our school and how the genders compare on standardized test scores. In our school's case, she indicated the test scores are roughly equal and in fact for last year's third graders the boys scored higher in both math and reading. Other years it has been reversed but they always looking to improve.

Coincidentally (or not?) 8 out of the 19 teachers in our k-4 elementary school are men.

4:34 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Kurt said...

mdmnm's comment--that historical examples show the early years of school to be more a world of girls than one of boys--have a certain amount of truth to them, but that still doesn't argue against the significance of the disproportionate ratio of women to men in higher education today, which is a more recent and a very significant issue, one with its roots in the way the educational system is now set up. In the past, there used to be some point where boys began to catch up with girls or to excel in certain areas of school life, but that point seems to have faded or to have disappeared in recent years. And while some of the problem is cultural--having to do with the way men are or are not valued in our society--some of it also lies at the feet of an educational establishment which promotes a vision and a philosophy of education that doesn't seem to work for a large number of boys and men.

4:39 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John M wrote: "I would love to be active in the Boy Scouts. But I am an unmarried male in my 30s. There is no way I am putting myself in a situation where I could be accused of something and have my reputation ruined."

John, I was in the same boat you are now. I went ahead and got involved and no one commented except parents who said they were glad I was able to reach their sons because I was close to their age. It helps that I have long hair, wear an earring, ride a Harley and am an Eagle Scout. If you were involved with Scouting before, you should get back into it. You can also volunteer on the district or council level, if you're really concerned about such accusations.

4:45 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fifty-eight percent of college students may be female, but I don't think that is enough to claim there is a general problem.

I'd ask what the majors are before concluding there is a problem. If there has been a large increase in the number of women studying the humanities, so what? Good for them.

But what do we see in the hard sciences, engineering, math, economics, computer science, and business?

I'd also have to ask about enrollment in technical schools which provide training in computer science, electrionics, robotics, aircraft maintenance, communications, and the trades. These are far better options for many young men than a degree in English or sociology.

4:47 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ John M
"Why would a male want to teach in grade schools? I for one am very afraid of false accusations of sexual abuse. ...I am an unmarried male in my 30s. There is no way I am putting myself in a situation where I could be accused of something and have my reputation ruined."

@ Anonymous 12.01
So tell me why any man would willingly subject himself to that environment: Thou art innocent until accused. Then you're guilty. And you won't be given a chance to prove otherwise; if you try to fight it in court, the mere accusation becomes public record -- which is enough to ruin your name anyway.

This is exactly the point. As with all types of employment, there is a distribution of the degree to which men are attracted to work with children. Minor obstacles deflect those with only a passing interest in such work. As the hurdles are raised higher and higher, so more and more men are deterred until eventually, with the human sex drive being one of the strongest motivators of all, the only ones that remain are those who love children and those who, well, LOVE children. By this stage, the vast majority of decent guys with pure motives, such as myself and the two above-referenced posters, will not even consider such work since the risks so far outweigh the rewards. Furthermore, and with no small degree of irony, the fear will have become largely self-justifying as the percentage of deviants among those that remain will, while still small in absolute terms, be far higher than in the population as a whole.

4:51 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Jake said...

There are a lot more male teachers in private schools than in public ones. Kind of makes you wonder why. See my comments on the feminization of American boys here...


5:01 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He reports that the boys, especially, seem hungry for attention and communication with a man.

Well then, why don't their mothers marry one?

The schools to which you allude are in that kind of "community," n'est ce pas?


I'd ask what the majors are before concluding there is a problem. If there has been a large increase in the number of women studying the humanities, so what? Good for them.

But what do we see in the hard sciences, engineering, math, economics, computer science, and business?

We were discussing that topic herein two or three weeks ago. College majors are becoming ever more gender segregated. Majors such as English or Education are becoming all girl, whereas math, engineering and physical sciences remain cursed by a preponderance of XY chromosomes.

Femiminists are demanding some sort of affirmative action, Title IX program to get more girls in engineering, math, and physics. More girl mechanical engineers, more boy art history majors, and the world will be a better place.

All this boo-hooing about not enough boys in college is actionally a smokescreen for mandating gender equality of enrollment in these fields of study. That's what the Progressives want American law to require.

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

5:15 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...that kind of "community," n'est ce pas?

I'm not sure I want to know what you mean by that.

Boys, unless and until convinced otherwise, desire to grow up to be men. Women cannot teach boys how to be men. The more time boys can spend with men, the better. It's as simple as that.


5:30 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:30,

I agree.

Most of the complaints here revolve around school activities. But I see lots of boys engaged in non-school athletic leagues. The teams are male, the coaches are male, and the competition is male.

Maybe the boys are deserting the schools for more attractive prospects.

5:37 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that any headway is going to be made on these issues until the general public is aware of the nature of the ideologies that have engendered this state of affairs. Seeing as public debate regarding the history and contemporary nature of Feminism is taboo, the best route is probably through legal appeals.

To wit:
Many state and municipal jurisdictions, as well as civil institutions, have established legal/formal definitions of 'hate groups' and 'hate crimes'. These vary by jurisdiction, but most recognize gender, and increasingly sexual orientation, as bias classifications. It's long been recognized that the National Organization of Women (NOW) is vulnerable to a 'hate group' designation under most of these definitions as they are currently written and interpreted. This is thought to be one of the reason's that NOW had withdrawn their, now several year old, 'study' on family court policy and outcomes. They had apparently been advised by 'civil rights interests' that this document would undermine a future defense against such recognition under California law (IIRC).

If NOW were to be properly recognized as a hate group, this could go a long way towards deinstitutionalizing their preferred policies within school systems, family and child welfare agencies, and academia. Many such institutions would be compelled to sever ties with not only NOW, but groups affiliated with NOW either through financial or operational relationships. Additionally it would empower moderate Feminist groups to redefine Feminism in a way that is both humane and egalitarian. And whether or not such appeals are ultimately successful, they would inform the public that NOW's brand of Feminism is tantamount to organized hatred.

IMO the best way to go about this isn't to appeal for such recognition at a state level, or to sue for it, but to begin with local jurisdictions - i.e. Township councils/boards, school boards, charitable groups. A small group of well informed constituents can influence such bodies while staying under the radar of NOW's legal defense and other hard-left attack groups. Once such formal recognition begins to take root, there will likely be a cascading affect as communities across the country realize that it's OK to speak out against Feminist hate speech and anti-male social engineering policies.


6:41 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I volunteered with a FEMALE kindergarten teacher about 10 years ago in San Francisco. She was accused of sexual molesting a little boy--at a time when I was with her and knew it was a bunch of baloney.

Its not just feminism that is an issue here. It is the fact that a 5 YEAR OLD, who isn't getting his way feels that proper recourse is to tell his parent he was molested. It also should be a matter of extreme concern that HIS PARENT (single mother) believed him.

7:51 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only primary education male teacher I had was in fifth grade. I didn't like him much and he seemed to have trouble keeping the class in line. When I was in 7th grade I had a male teacher who would rub my back when he came to my desk to answer a question. It made me feel uncomfortable, so I told some people in the office; He wasn't fired. I now wonder whether I was misinterpreting his intentions. But my point isn't to undermine male teachers, I am just sharing two personal examples. I agree that young children need more male role models.

10:18 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"I understand that the culture fears men, but I am coming to believe that abuse is a human, not a male problem."

This from a psychiatric professional. And we wonder why the myth is still propagated?

6:56 AM, April 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The boy crisis we're hearing about is largely a manufactured one, the product of both a backlash against the women's movement and the media's penchant for continuously churning out news about the latest dire threat to the nation."

It's funny. The "girls crisis" was a "manufactured one" (see Kleinfeld's "The Myth That Schools Shortange Girls"), the product of a radical-feminist movement in educational settings, and still there was no such skepticism about it. Despite the lack of data, everybody belived the poor girls were being discriminated against.

Now there's statistical evidence that boys are falling behind, that schools fulfill the educational needs of girls better than that of boys (even teaching methods have been changing to the advantage of girls), and feminists say this is not true: that the evil psychologists and neurologists are creating a backlash against the girls...

University of Michigan education professor Valerie Lee reports that gender differences in academic performance are "small to moderate."
Man, this is weird. They forgot to say that Lee's study debunked AAUW's claim that girls were being shortanged in schools in any way.

8:28 AM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Anon quoted me saying: "I understand that the culture fears men, but I am coming to believe that abuse is a human, not a male problem."

Then said:

"This from a psychiatric professional. And we wonder why the myth is still propagated?"

Sorry, I am missing your point. Are you saying that it is a myth that women abuse? Part of my point is that women abuse differently. They tend to neglect. It is abuse, just passive abuse by withholding. And it causes problems. Lots of problems.

In victim/perpetrator abuse systems we now consider the adult abuser/victim system in terms of percentage time spent in each position. A 100% victim position is thought to be very rare. 60/40 and 80/20 splits are more common. That is to say, when the victim gets a chance or is fed up he tends to perpetrate. This does not apply to children in current thinking, and I agree.

So I am not sure what myth I am propogating, but I would like to understand and possibly respond to your criticism. My point is that abuse is a human problem, not a male problem. My own work and the research support that.


10:36 AM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger Jeff with one 'f' said...

I highly recommend that any interested in the topic of children "crying wolf" should check out : The Children's Hour.


10:45 AM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

I had a couple of minutes and did a search about neglect. Interesting to find, 38% of child mistreatment deaths are due to neglect. Most of these cases are attributed to women. Neglect is the leading cause of death in child mistreatment deaths. Sad, chilling, and factual. My heart is not coming from a "women bad, men good" place, that is foolishness. So is "men bad, women good." Silliness unworthy of serious contemplation. But the current research suggests that women may kill more children through abuse than men do. What IS important is that neglect is more deadly than abuse and there is far less concern about it. That puts children at risk. I think that it is more difficult for us to think of mother's as abusers because it is so damn frightening! We all were totally dependent on our caregivers for years, and most of our caregivers were women. So it is difficult to accept because of our unconscious denial. I think we should face facts to be more protective of more children. Read the study for yourself!



10:53 AM, April 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One example to show you what I mean. Twenty years ago, when executives still had the balls to do such things, the airline industry took surveys of what type of "flight attendants" their customers prefered. Everyone overwhelmingly prefered younger (= better looking) female stewardesses. But the Court said what the customer wants makes no diffrence. If anyone has the capacity to do the job, its ilegal to discriminate merely becasue of customer preference

No one HAS to fly. Compulsory education laws make kids go to school. In addition, there are parental rights issues. As long as they can comply with the requests without impacting the male teacher's employment status, compensation, or chances for advancement, there's no cause of action. He doesn't have a right to have any particular child in his classroom. You'll also notice Hooters isn't required to hire male waiters, either, despite the best efforts of the EEOC.

I'm telling you, that school is a sitting duck for a reverse discrimination suit. So is the National Basketball Association, on a discriminatory impact theory. ( Their hiring methods result in a disproportionately black workforce) But that's just for you legal wonks, I won't bore you with the details. All I'm saying is, if you want to get rich and famous, find some white kid who didnt get drafted, use him as a plaintiff to have standing to sue the NBA, and watch your fame grow.

This is where you show us how good of an employment lawyer you are (or aren't.) It's always amusing when someone claims there's a way to get rich, but hasn't taken advantage of it himself, despite supposedly being in a position to do so. Your claim about your profession is suspect. For starters, it's DISPARATE impact theory, and a BFOQ is a bona fide occupational QUALIFICATION, and the NBA's criteria are well covered as BFOQ's.

12:39 PM, April 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:28,

I'd say we have no problem in boys falling behind unless we see them behind at the end of their education.

If we have a continuing stream of talented, competent, and ambitious young men coming out of college with degrees in science, engineering, medicine, computer science, economics, and business we have little problem.

Pick up a graduation program for any school in the country and look at gender distribution by degree. We can also look at the success in securing employment for the woman graduate in psychology or sociology versus the man with a degree in engineering or business.

It may be that men and women take different things from education, and look for different things in their education. Perhaps the men don't get what the women get from their education. Few men care.

4:37 PM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Anon. 4:37 - if you look through these tables, especially the ones for "white males alone" you will see that the males 20-34 have a lower incidence of a high school eduction than did the males in the 50-64 age range. This indicates to me a growing problem. Black males 20-34 actually do better than white males in this area. White females do the best, black females the worst.

I had a post that looked into this the other day. I was quite surprised to see just how poorly white males 20-34 were doing educationally.

7:32 PM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger DADvocate said...

What I mean is high school education or better.

7:35 PM, April 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I see little significance to the comparison you offer of 20-34 year olds and 50-64 year olds.

The older group does better than the younger group in bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorates, and professional degrees. Of course they do. They have had much more time to get those degrees.

10:49 PM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I measure high school graduates and above in total (lumped together). I took the tables put them in Excel and performed a few calculations, summed the groups for high school and above, then calculated what percent that was of the total population in that age group. Quite simple really.

I summed the over high school groups precisely because the older group had more of an opportunity to earn advanced degrees. Basically, you're looking at two different generations. The older group is quite likely the parents of the younger group. The kids aren't doing as well as the parents educationally.

Every 20 year old should be finished with high school. I'm sure there are a few stragglers but probably not enough to make much difference. If you only look at what's shown you you'll only see what someone else wants you to see. Look a little deeper.

11:53 PM, April 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


OK. I see your numbers.

The table has some surprises. One is the percentage of each age group that has a masters degree. It shows 10% of those 50 to 59 have masters degrees. I guess I have missed them all.

Another is the percentages that have bachelors and above. This is 30.1% for ages 50-64, and 30.5 for ages 25-39. We can probably expect that small gap to increase as more in the younger group gain a bachelors.

However, I don't see how we can measure progress or digression by looking at different groups within the same census. To do that we would need two censuses from different years, say 1990 and 2000. Then one could compare each group and see changes.

From this table we have no idea what progress the cohort labelled 50-64 had made when they were aged 20-34. That would tell us what had actually changed.

5:58 PM, April 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard all of the gloom and doom about becoming a male primary teacher. I am getting ready to start my 5th year as a first grade teacher. I can personally attest to the positive outcomes I have experienced as a first grade teacher. Not once have I had my motives questioned by anyone. I am comfortable hugging my students and I have no problem with working with small children. I think that most of the negative comments presented are made by those who could not work in an elementary school setting. In the real world men can and do work well with chidren.

You should see all of the requests that my principal has for the next school year. You would think that being a former Marine would scare them away.

I challenge all men who have a desire to teach......take on the challenge.

10:05 PM, May 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 December, 2006
There should be a giant sign at the Georgia/ Florida border:
Jeb Bush Governor.
I moved here from Calif. in 2002 to take care of my parents who were moving into Dementia. I can with a California
Professional Clear Multi-Subject Credential, 7 reference letters
and experience K-3.
I can tell you that male primary,
elementary teachers are Persona
Non Grata
I was unable to get many interviews let alone a job offer. (Remember now this is the home of Debra LaFavre the pretty teacher busted for doing middle school boys)
eg. Principal at Tampa Bay Blvd. Elem.
says to me during interview what do I say to the parents of the children you will have if they all say to me that they do not want a 'male' teacher for their children?
I have other such stories but the bottom line is they feel all men are potential molesters however, I bet they bring their own child to a male
pediatrician md.
I think this is payback by women who are now principals who feel they were not hired by men as administrators years ago and now they use the same
pat answer: "we just try to hire the most qualified teacher" (and outside of the music teacher and the PE teacher that always happens to be a woman.
Google men-teach as a site for male teachers.

7:59 PM, December 03, 2006  
Blogger BG Nelson said...

What a great discussion!

First, I want to thank Dr. Helen for starting this discussion.

I work with a national non-profit called MenTeach.

You can see our website about men teaching at MenTeach.org.

People were asking about data about the percentage of men rather than anecdotal information. I've written and researched this topic since the 1980s.

As for history, men were the majority of teachers until the 1800 when more women started to outnumber the men. The numbers increased right after World War II when men returned from war and had the GI Bill to pay for their education.

But back in colonial days, young men, some studying to be clergy, were hired by local citizen school boards to teach children. According to public records, from 1635 to 1750 almost all of the teachers on town payrolls were men. It wasn’t until 1750 that the number of men teachers decreased to 85%, with the remaining 15% being women primarily teaching in summer programs (Tyack & Hansot, 1992) and what we would call family child care today.

Over the next century, the male majority of teachers began to decrease. During the 1800s the percentage of men teachers in some states dropped to less than 25%. For example, by 1834 in Massachusetts, 54 % of the teachers were men, and by 1860 this figure dropped to 22 % (Joncich Clifford, 1991).

There are several explanations for the decline in the number of men teachers. One of the reasons appears to be that men could earn higher wages in other occupations and women could replace the men teachers for lower wages thereby making it cheaper for town school trustees.

Demographic changes appear to be another reason why women began to enter teaching in greater numbers than men. Women were experiencing decreasing birthrates and a rising age of their first marriages. These changes in the mid-1800s provided middle class women a greater opportunity to attend school and with increased education middle class and women from wealthy family wanted to work outside the home (Joncich Clifford, 1991).

Teaching was one of the few socially acceptable careers for middle class women because teaching could be considered an extension of women’s domestic role.

MenTeach did a large national study in 2002 and found three intertwined reasons why don't teach or stay in the field:

1. Stereotypes - people believe teaching is women's work and that men are not nurturing or caring enough;

2. Fear of Accusation of Abuse - people believe that men are going to harm children;

3. Low Status and Low Pay - people do not value teaching nor are we as a society willing to pay the people who teach our children sufficient to attract and retain men (and many women).

This is a very interesting topic and brings out many different opinions.

It is essential to hire the most qualified, talented women AND men to teach and pay them well.

Let's decide what is best for our children. We want our classrooms to reflect what the world is - a diverse community of humans made up of half men and half women.

Some citations

Joncich Clifford, G. (1991). Daughters into Teachers: Educational and Demographic Influences on the Transformation of Teaching into 'Women's Work' in America. In A. Prentice & Theobald, M. (Eds.). Women who Taught: Perspectives on the History of Women and Teaching. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Youcha, G. (1995). Minding the Children: Child Care in America from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Scribner Press.

Tyack, D. B. & Hansot, E. (1992). Learning Together: A History of Coeducation in American Public Schools. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

2:48 PM, December 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FLORIDA TEACHER ACQUITTED THEN FIRED. B of E pays legal bills but says
he must not be re-hired.
Ex-teacher settles for $131,500 after sex-case acquittal

By DONNA WINCHESTER, Times Staff Writer
Published January 10, 2007
Weather Alerts

The Pinellas School Board agreed Tuesday to pay $131,500 to a former elementary school teacher who successfully defended himself on charges that he sexually abused two second-graders.

The board will pay Mark C. Fronczak a portion of the legal fees he incurred in his 2005 criminal trial, where he faced charges of capital sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation of two children at Southern Oak Elementary School. In exchange, Fronczak will waive his right to appeal the board's decision to fire him and will agree not to apply for future employment in the district.

"I think it was a reasonable resolution of a long conflict," said School Board attorney Jim Robinson. "It assures that as far as we're concerned, the relationship is irreversibly severed."

Board member Linda Lerner, who in October voted against firing Fronczak, said the agreement to partially reimburse him was the only clear-cut element in a protracted three-year battle.

"This was not a difficult decision," Lerner said. "He was found not guilty of the charges in court, so this was what we had to do legally."

Under Florida law, school districts must reimburse legal costs for employees who successfully defend lawsuits or criminal charges that arise in the course of their jobs. Fronczak - who lost his house, pawned his belongings and sold his cars since his arrest - originally asked the district for $200,000.

He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Had the board not agreed to the settlement, the district could have been liable for additional costs, Robinson said.

"We were faced with the prospect of hiring criminal defense lawyers to review the billings and determine how reasonable his claim was," Robinson said. "If he were to be rehired upon appeal, it would be at considerable expense to the board for back pay."

The case against Fronczak began in December 2003 when two second-graders in his music class at Southern Oak alleged that he touched them inappropriately. The Sheriff's Office launched an investigation that resulted in his arrest in April 2004.

Pinellas school administrators placed Fronczak, a district employee for 18 years, on paid administrative leave. Two months later, they recommended he be fired.

Fronczak assumed the district would give him his job back after a jury acquitted him in July 2005. Instead, the district began pushing for his dismissal, alleging that "something inappropriate" had occurred in his classroom.

The matter came before the School Board again after a state administrative law judge heard the same evidence presented at Fronczak's trial but determined he had not observed "appropriate (physical) boundaries" while interacting with the girls.

The board voted 3-2 to fire Fronczak on Oct. 24.

Lerner said Tuesday's resolution, while appropriate, also was somewhat sad.

"I certainly hope Mr. Fronczak can go on with his life and find other productive things to do," she said.

[Last modified January 10, 2007, 06:07:42]

12:55 PM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Florida, accused maleteachers are guilty no matter what the facts. Conservative Boards of Education do not need the facts to get in the way of their
decisions on the careers of teachers,
especially male ones.

5:30 PM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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