The value of a racially diverse staff is a recurrent subject, but gender diversity is just as important. Stereotyping, low pay, and few mentors are among the reasons that the percentage of male teachers is at a forty-year low, according to Newsweek. This dearth is especially alarming given the evidence, however controversial, that teachers’ gender affects student learning. Whatever your take on Thomas Dee’s findings that “learning from a teacher of the opposite gender has a detrimental effect on students’ academic progress,” it is undisputable that children need strong male and female role models from an early age. In elementary schools, the problem is even more distinct, as male teachers number only nine percent.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

This is an interesting topi, and I wrote a post about it on my blog.
http://blog109.org/communities/dsherman/archive/2007/02/07/13651.aspx

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

I can definately see where this article is relavent. I work in the same building as my wife and in the past few years, we had many of the same students. When discussing the students, we often found that a student might be outstanding in her class but very low achieving in my class. I truely beleive that some students just respond better to women versus men. The opposite can be said as well. A student who has experienced an abusive relationship growing up with a father figure might tend to not respond as well to a male teacher. I beleive it is essential for students to have both male and female students at all levels of their education.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

The starting salary might be a large deterent for men considering entry into the education workforce. The starting salary for teachers is about $30,000, and less in early education. Most college graduate (men or women) can earn significantly more money working for a corporation.

What does the education system offer that is above and beyond Corporate America? Vacation time? What new teacher can afford to take a vacation...summer school anyone.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

This article definitely struck a chord with me because the entire eighth grade team at my school consists of men. The only female teachers that eighth grade students get to see are either specials teachers, which they don’t have all year long, or the Spanish teacher, if they are taking that class. Otherwise eighth grade students have to go without any interaction from a female teacher all year long. I never really looked at this being too big of a deal, but apparently it could have a very negative effect on the female students. The middle school where I work has a great mix of both male and female teachers; however the elementary school definitely does not. I can’t help but think that income is the leading factor driving males away from teaching. Not to mention stereotypes keeping males out of elementary schools. Hopefully this trend changes in the future.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

I really enjoyed this article. Teaching in an elementary school (k-8) and also teaching in the inner city or Erie, I have seen the positives and negatives of the gender bias. I have taucght all grade levels and I believe it is based on the individual student of how they react to the teacher. While I tuaght the younger grades, I saw some of those students respond academically better with females. Now that I am teaching 7th grade I have found that they respond equally to both female and male teachers. But in both situations I have found the majority of the students respond to discipline better from a male than a female. I am not exaclty sure why but that is what I have seen in my own experience. Either way, I do notice a gender bias in our education system.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

I think the problem lies with the fact that new female teachers are in essence "taken under the wing" of the other female staff at the school. I am a male teacher at an all female school, and I make up the 1% of the male population. It seems clear to me that there is this distance between the other teachers and I, and this seems due to gender. There is definitely a gender bias in our education system, especially at the elementary level.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

I can definitely appreciate the attitudes and perception of this post. I work in a school district that over the past three years has hired approximately 5 male elementary teachers and close to 30 females. My Father is a retired administrator from the district at the elementary level and agrees there is a problem. It is very unfortunate that equally qualified men are passed over because of a perception the interviewing teams see in women. Please do not miss interpret, women are just as capable, but at some point with the number of broken homes, I have to believe a strong male role model is essential in a students success. I see the gender favortism at our elementary level now more than ever. The central administration is run by women, all but one of the elementary principals are women, and 95% of the staff are women. This has caused problems for the men at that level. Moral and comorardary are low. It would be nice to see a mixture of men and women hired year to year, not 17 women and 1 man as was the case this year.

re: Where Are the Male Teachers?

I started my career in an urban high school where most students came from broken homes without a male figure in their lives. I saw the result of not having fathers at a young age. Those who say that there are no lasting effects from not having fathers involved in the child raising process need to open their eyes. I am by no means suggesting that having a father or male role model present will make everything okay, but I think that some of the larger problems would be erased. Having this role model in the formative years can have a large impact on the rest of their lives. I think that this would make a great longitudinal study. The long term impact on male adolescents growing up without fathers who have male teachers as compared to female teachers.