Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Where have all the Good Male Teachers Gone?

As many of you know from my previous postings, I'm a regular reader of Sam de Brito's All Men Are Liars blog. In de Brito's most recent entry, Where are all the male school teachers de Brito broaches a very intriguing subject-- is the relative lack of male school teachers adversely affecting society as a whole? Is the lack of positive male role models leading to dumbed down males who, due to the preponderance of female teachers, see learning as a largely "effeminate" practice or discipline?

Would having more male school teachers help curb the dumbing down of the male portion of the species?

I can't speak for anyone else, only from my own experiences, but in grade school I dreaded having male teachers (other than for Phys Ed.). They were stricter disciplinarians and ruled by a firmer hand. In hindsight I realize this was a good thing. That being said I didn't have my first male teacher until 5th grade. And he was one of the best teachers I've ever had (I'm not discounting female teachers I've had several good female teachers as well over the years as well). It's not what I learned from him when it came to reading, writing, or the sciences... It's what he taught in life lessons-- respect, honor, dignity, basic manners. For example whenever a"guest" entered the room we were taught to stand as a sign of respect. Something I don't know that many students today are taught.

I do think having a good mixture of male and female teachers as I was growing up was a very positive thing. I believe it gave me a good balance. I do encourage you to follow the link and read de Brito's original post but I am curious to hear the thoughts of others on this subject.


Layla said...

I read a study done about a year ago (I know you can't really trust most of those "studies"). It said that girls were favored over boys by female teachers and that male teachers didn't favor either. I also said that for boys without a father at home (which is LOTS of boys these days) having a male school teacher was often the next best thing. My son had one in 5th grade too (what a hottie I might add) and I think it had a positive affect on him. Now he has a former Olympian as a wrestling coach who yells, screams and LOVES his team - I can tell my son has benefited from having Coach S. in his life :)

Jeff said...

I didn't have my first male teacher until 7th grade and unfortunately it wasn't quite as good of an experience. He was actually convicted for having cyber sex with one of his 7th grade students. I knew he was into the girls in my class but I didn't actually know he would act on it. Now in college though nearly all of my professors are males and all of them are great teachers but I think I'm past the point of looking for a role model although they have taught me a lot.

dana said...

There is such a dearth of male teachers in the elementary school system and it's sad. Kids need both in their lives. Male teachers are terrific role models, especially for the boys.

There was a program organized in one of the local schools here by a student teacher. She was interning with an outgoing Grade 2 teacher....together, they arranged for the local university hockey team to join them once a week for a "reading buddies" program. This happened last fall and was expanded to include other grades in the school. By Christmas, there was a noted increase in interest in reading.....especially with the boys. it made a huge difference. The boys were also invited to attend the Uni. games as "guests" etc.

WELL>>>>>>>>> guess what most of these kids asked for last Christmas?? BOOKS! No kidding!

if we can't get males to choose elementary school teaching as a career, I believe it's incumbent on the community to step up to the plate and get some DADS into the classrooms for reading time.

Reading isn't a girlie thing, as we know, but for some reason, it is perceived at that age as such.

great post perplex..... :)


Dana/Aware.......I didn't sign in properly, so instead of losing my comments, I am posting under other

David Amulet said...

I never thought about this until I read your post. But it's true--especially at the grade school level, it's hard to find male teachers.

A balance might be good, but perhaps the transition from home to school is easier with female teachers. I'd have to think about it more ... but I know I wont' make time to.

I'll rely on the wisdom of others here.

-- david

Dantallion said...

I'd never thought about this before you posted, but I realise now that in elementary and high school, female teachers probably outnumbered male teachers 3:1. Would it have made a difference had things been a bit more even? I'm not sure. Probably, since having a good balance of male & female influence in life is generally considered healthy.