Male preschool teacher ?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by MrT, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. MrT

    MrT Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2006

    I subbed one day for preschool special education. I felt uncomfortable in that position, because I am a male teacher and parents might be suspicious of a male preschool teacher.

    I only was an aide that day, the teacher assistated the girls and she told me to assist the boys with their pants and going to the rest room. I felt a little uncomfortable helping the boys, unbuttoning and buttoning their pants, what would parents think? One three year old told me "can you wipe my butt." I told him, "come on your a big boy now you can do it." He was able to, to my relief. It's not that I don't mind, but parent's I think may feel uncomfortable with a man teacher doing what a women traditionally would do.

    There was another guy teacher for another class helping the boys, it didn't seem to bother him and he didn't seem to be worried. This made me more comfortable and relieved my worries.

    I assume if I was a preschool teacher and didn't have an aide, then I would have to help both the boys and the girls going to the restroom.

    The teacher really liked me and so did the kids, but I declined when they asked me to sub preschool again, it just seems too risky if a parent accused a male teacher of wrong doing.

    My cousin told me his preschool teacher was a male, and he remembers as a kid loving having a male teacher. He told me I should lighten up and not worry so much.

    What are other teachers opinions? Is it too risky for a man to be a preschool teacher?
     
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  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 22, 2006

    I can see how you feel, but I also know that male teachers are just awesome with little kids. The kids just love them and so do the teachers...and the parents. That is my experience. Just be careful and try no to be alone in the bathroom with any children. That same rule can apply for female teachers as well. We leave our bathroom door open when we have to assist a child.
     
  4. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 Companion

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    Dec 22, 2006


    This is good advice.

    I'm actually surprised about you needing to help the children. When my kids (now 8 & 12) were in preschool, one requirement to be enrolled was that the child had to be TOTALLY potty trained & independent in the bathroom. The kids at this school have to be able to use the bathroom unassisted. I made sure that my kids could do everything in the bathroom by themselves...this included buying only pants with elastic waists - no zippers, snaps, buttons, etc.

    I think that is the norm for preschools around here.

    I teach 1st grade & unfortunately, some parents send their kids to school with pants on that the child can't do by themselves. This happened the other day & I had another child help a boy undo his belt because he couldn't do it.
     
  5. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Dec 22, 2006

    Special Ed students in preschool can have accomidations and those can include toileting and diapering.
     
  6. MrT

    MrT Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2006

    these were special ed kids

    Well one reason why I think they weren't totally bathroom independent was because they were special ed kids.
     
  7. Bernard

    Bernard Companion

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    Dec 23, 2006

    Some of our best teachers have been male! It is important for young children to have positive male role models in their lives. It is also helps combat gender stereotypes; the children learn that a man can be nurturing and gentle.

    All of our male teachers help with diapering and bathroom duties, regardless of gender of child, but with an open-door, in the classroom atmosphere, as suggested by Grammy. As a precaution they are not sent in alone (such as from the playground) to the bathroom with a child who has had an accident or is not fully independent.

    Some parents are hesitant to trust male teachers. It is ideal to bring a new male teacher into a room where the parents strongly trust the other teacher, and have that teacher voice her support of the male teacher to insecure parents. With a little time, parents realize that it is a great thing.

    Mr T is in an awkward position, because he does not have time to earn this parent trust. I think you're fine to work preschool if you enjoy the children, but your instincts might be right about parent concerns about bathrooming. Just don't put yourself in a position to be alone with bathrooming children. If another teacher is there, helping with buttons, snaps, and bathroom tasks should be fine for you; parents are aware of their special ed children's need for assistance, and a second adult can confirm that nothing "fishy" happened. Without a witness, though, you leave yourself open to allegations, especially if you are a sub that the parents and staff do not really know.

    One option would be to ask the co-teacher/aide if you could stay with one half of the group (in the classroom) while the other half goes to bathroom wth her, and then switch. Where are your bathrooms, and how are they set up?
     
  8. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Dec 23, 2006

    I teach public preschool, in a regular ed setting in Maryland, and one of our bathroom policies is that kids must be totally independent in the restroom. I'll help with zippering and buttoning - but only if the kid comes out of the bathroom and I do it in front of other adults. However, my kids aren't special ed, and I do know that kids in special ed classrooms do not HAVE to be potty trained....they can be at any level of independence, from completely relying on diapers to needing help with wiping. In your position, Mr. T, I'd try to always have another adult in your line of vision while performing bathrooming tasks. It's just in your own best interests. I'd give this same advice if you were a female, by the way.
    Kim
     
  9. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Dec 23, 2006

    I was in graduate school with a man that was determined to be a kindergarten teacher. 5 schools all wanted him at the same time. They had too many female teachers. He did say, though, that when kids wanted a hug, he turned sideways and stooped down to their level- otherwise, they were at crotch level for him (he was kinda tall, too).
     
  10. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    We have a couple of men preschool teachers in our county. They are really good at what they do. I would not worry to much about it. I just do what I have to do. As long as you have an aide or another adult in the room then you are safe. Parents should expect those sorts of things otherwise they need to put elastic waist britches on their children.
     
  11. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Dec 24, 2006

    Personally, I think we need more male preschool teachers. With the amount of broken homes and such, some kids really need more positive male role models. I can see how you would feel uncomfortable though, but I think as long as you don't put yourself in a position to give anyone any thoughts about it, you will be just fine.
     
  12. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Dec 24, 2006

    I worked at a preschool with a male aide. All the kids and teachers loved him! He just had to be careful about protecting himself - as others said, don't be alone with the kids, especially in the bathroom. As long as other adults are around to serve as a witness, it should be fine.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 25, 2006

    Female teachers should be equally cautious about bathrooming issues. I had a preK kid tell me to push his 'peanut' down. I didn't really even think I heard him right. When I realized what he wanted and I told him he had to do it himself he said his mom always did it for him at home. BOY, did I have a talk with that mom that day!! There is just no way I'm going to jeopardize my career/reputation on toileting issues (my preK had no sped kids and all were required to be toilet trained so I drew the line on this one.....) The 'potty issues' alone were enought to convince me to get into elementary ed. Now I'm in second, have a aide to help with any special needs kids. The special needs kids in my buidling have bathrooms with physical accomodations (bigger, railings around toilet) and the aides generally leave the door open.
     
  14. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Dec 25, 2006

    I can totally understand how you must feel. I felt uncomfortable with helping kids with their pants and I am a female. I still do feel uncomfortable but I just do it quick and get it over with.
     
  15. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Dec 25, 2006

    Wouldn't there still be the regular aid in the room with you if you are the sub? I would thnk that's who would be assissting with wiping and buckeling...not a stranger to the children.
    I agree that both males and females need to protect themselves. I teach middle school and I have always made it a personal rule to never be alone with any student in a classroom. If a child is taking longer than the others to gather their belongimgs andn go to the hallway, I stand outside the door with the others and wait there. In this day and age it makes no sense to jeopordize yourself. I worked too long and hard for this degree to take a risk.
     
  16. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Well we have a specific person for dealing with toileting/diapering. If this person is absent s/he usually gets a sub who then should do the toileting/diapering. These are specific CWA subs. At our school all the C.W.A.'s are female. Therefore if a male has a problem and has toileting/diapering written into his IEP then a female CWA will assist him. That is Not always what happens but if we are going "by the book" that is the way things should happen. We have very few male staff in our school. That being said if there is a problem there are a few members of the male staff that will take kids to the bathroom but I don't know if they'd assist them with anything. My kids are kinda high functioning. I'll assist with wiping, but I mostly give them the tissues and talk them through what to do. I do most fastener help outside in the room and I try to keep the door open a crak if possible while still preserving the privacy of the student. We do have a changing table, but it is rarely used anymore as it doesn't fit in our bathroom and makes the students seem more "special."
     
  17. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Dec 26, 2006

    All teachers male or female need to protect themselves with this issue. I was in a program that specifically had two or more teachers in the class to protect against any allegations of abuse but now I am teaching in a private school where there is one teacher and aide in a room and often you are left alone with your group. I'm very conscious of anything I do as a female and how it can be perceived by ANYONE! I know one accusation can ruin my career. I have worked so hard to get where I am! To ALL teachers... be very aware of how situations can be perceived by others...whether you are male or female.
     
  18. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Dec 26, 2006

    I agree!!
     
  19. TLC Teacher

    TLC Teacher Rookie

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    I agree... Being a female i dont step into the bathroom unless theres another teacher in view.. as i work in a daycare/preschool classroom we still have a couple 4 yr olds that arent potty trained and they still need help but i make sure our floater is somewhere around..

    Having a male available it wonderful.. I admire you for being able to love the kids...
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 28, 2006

    I would hire a male teacher in a minute.
     
  21. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jan 2, 2007

    I would love to work with a male teacher.
     

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