Tips for male teachers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Chad, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    Mar 23, 2005

    I am going back to school to get an elementary teaching certificate. I currently work in accounting and have a business degree but through years of volunteer work with Junior Achivement feel that teaching is my calling. I found a great accelerated program and looking forward to changing to a more rewarding career. I know male elementary teachers are rare and my advisor has told me I will have no problem getting a job if I come out of the program with the needed skills and great portfolio.

    My question is to any male teachers out there or any female teachers out there who have worked with males, what are the biggest obstacles you see me facing when I do begin to teach? Are the female teachers accepting of a male? What is the work environment like in a female dominated setting? How do parents react when their child has a male teacher? Any and all answers, suggestions, opinions would be appreciated. I don't even know a male elementary teacher that I can ask personally.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 23, 2005

    One of my good friends is a male teacher, and everyone loved him. It also helped that he was a good teacher. :) He taught 3rd grade. Where I taught there were also 2 male teachers in grade 3 or 4, and they were popular as well. The truth is that a lot of children do not have a positive male role model. As for the female teachers, from what I have seen, they enjoy having a man around for a change, and he often gets treated that way.
     
  4. litlmama

    litlmama Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2005

    I know we are lining up my son for the male K teacher at our local elementary school. I think the transition will be easier for him, since for the last 4 years he has been home with his dad. Good luck!
     
  5. Prissypants

    Prissypants Companion

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    Mar 23, 2005

    I have found that at all levels of education male teachers are greatly appreciated by the female teachers. I think that, unfortunately, in our society that many children don't have a positive male influence in their lives. A male teacher can offer this.
     
  6. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2005

    We had a male teacher for a couple of years who taught 2nd grade and the kids and parents loved him. Like Amanda said he was a good male role model for the kids esp the ones who didn't have a dad around. Unfortunately he left for another school. He was very popular w/ everyone.
    Another friend of mine is a teacher and he loves it and is respected by the kids.
     
  7. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2005

    I have a male aide in my classroom, and the kids respond to him so well-- not only my students, but students in other classes we interact with. There is a different dynamic with a male teacher than with a female teacher, and it is great for the kids to have a mix. It also helps to have the range of perspectives when planning, in the classroom, or on the grade-level team, etc. You may find sometimes that people ask you to be the "tough guy" in a situation where there is a student causing trouble, especially in older elementary when the kids start getting bigger than some of the teachers.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 23, 2005

    We have only one male teacher at our school and we are soooo glad to have him. It helped that he told us right away that he was comfortable working with women. He gets kidded a lot in a friendly way and he responds in a much needed way. It is a breath of fresh air. Yes, he is an excellent teacher, though, and that is the most important thing. I think that the issue of gender can only enhance your status.
     
  9. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2005

    the males on our staff that work with the elementary students are greatly respected and liked by everyone in the school. Kudos! Our kids need more positive male role models!
     
  10. TeacherBiker

    TeacherBiker Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2005

    I actually am a male first grade teacher, so let me say a few things.

    First of all, the experience is great. When I moved to first grade I was worried that I would scare the kids (I'm big, have a loud voice, and look more like a construction worker than a teacher).

    What I found was the opposite. I think it's because at that age, at home, Mom is the force to be rekoned with, Dad can still be easily "charmed" (or conned, depending on how you look at it). So a lot of young children actually see a male and think "pushover."

    Conversely, I get a lot of very difficult kids in my classes because when the Kindergarten teachers meet to place the kids in their first grad classes the words "He needs to have a male teacher" come up a lot. Moreover, a lot of parents request me because they think I can give their kid the "discipline" he or she needs. little do they realize what a softy I really am. And many of those who do realize what a softy I am, want their kids in my class because they think I'm the only first grade teacher who will let their child live.
     
  11. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Mar 24, 2005

    I think it is great to have male teachers in the primary grades. I work in a k-2 school and have 3 male teachers who teach specials (music, physical education, art). The children respect them and respond to them well. I am really good friends with them and have a great time when they come to my classroom to work with my children. Some pof my special education students really benefit from male teachers. :cool:
     
  12. Doc Phun

    Doc Phun New Member

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    Apr 26, 2005

    Teaching is an obsession - much like windsurfing!

    Hi Chad – I have been a ‘male’ early childhood special education teacher for a long time. To answer your questions:
    1. What are the biggest obstacles you see me facing when I do begin to teach?
    Prejudice, bias, uncertainty, skepticism, and suspicion to name a few. Nationally, there are very few of us in the early elementary grades, so we are a bit of an oddity. Of course, you also have low pay (comparatively speaking), long hours, and angry parents.
    But you forgot to ask, what are the joys? And do the joys outweigh the obstacles?
    What you will find is that every day is an adventure, and a looking glass into our future (a private looking glass for the privileged teacher). It is an incredible journey filled with extreme highs and terrible lows. I have been to weddings, and I have been to funerals. You become a member of a family, not just our teaching family, but also your community family. There is no greater job!
    2. Are the female teachers accepting of a male?
    Maybe, if you are good enough to be accepted. To many times I have read how we need more men in the early elementary grades/years. It’s true. But I would take an excellent female teacher over a mediocre male teacher any day. You will need to prove yourself, just as our female counterparts have had to when they ‘broke’ into male dominated occupations. I recall one instance when a child needed his diaper changed. Without thinking, I picked the ‘little stinker’ up and brought him to our changing area (someone had to do it). As I glanced over my shoulder, there was an entire cadre of my female colleagues observing. When I was done, the single comment made was, “You know how to change a diaper?”
    3. What is the work environment like in a female dominated setting?
    Not to be condescending, but ‘emotional’! You tend to learn a lot about female anatomy and how it either works or doesn’t work, and whether you want to know or not. But it is fun!
    4. How do parents react when their child has a male teacher?
    Some with caution, some with glee, some with disdain (can’t find a real job, eh Mack?). So what. It’s the kids that will prove your worth!

    Good luck Chad. You are entering a noble and proud profession!
     
  13. mR.t-TiMe

    mR.t-TiMe Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2005

    Chad:

    Welcome to the world of being a male educator. I work with only one other male on our staff, but I have to say it's pretty great. As long as you are helpful and heartfelt, I'm sure you will be welcomed by parents, coworkers, and kids alike. I know my kids love their female teachers, but they also love having me there. This is especially true for the boys. They love having a male teacher. They respond well, and I know that year after year when parents evaluate our program they always say "we love it here, but little johhny-joe-jim-bob wishes there were more boy teachers"

    As far as obstacles? For me there aren't many. The parents respond well to me and I work with a great staff. The one thing I would say is be prepared for lots of gossip...not necessarily bad even, or ill-tempered...just a lot of chatting. Guys are more quite then gals.
     
  14. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Apr 30, 2005

    Sorry if I'm repeating what others have said

    I don't think anyone has really mentioned this yet, so I thought I would bring it up. As a male teacher, one thing I think you won't be prepared for (depending on the area you are in) is that some students who have never had a strong male role model will see you as a father figure. While it may not seem fair to you to be put in that position (and, please realize I don't mean for this to deter you) you have to realize that some of your students will get VERY upset if you are gone for a day or two. While this is probably true for any teacher and a child who doesn't have strong, dependable role models, it is even more of a concern for male teachers since more children are lacking male role models of any kind. Obviously, if you are in a district where most homes are 2-parent homes, this might not happen but you might also end up with a disproportionate number of single-parent children in your classroom. Now that I've been such a downer :( *Sorry* I also want to add that I absolutely respect and admire men who choose to go into elementary education (especially you few, brave souls who choose PreK-K) I hope you all know how needed AND appreciated you are... even if your parents or fellow teachers don't always let you know!!
     
  15. jayparkeriv

    jayparkeriv New Member

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    May 3, 2005

    Chad-
    I am a first year teacher in second grade. There are two other male teachers in my school in 4th and 5th grades. I agree with what others were saying about being a male role model for some children. In my class I have a few whose fathers are either not involved, incarcerated, or gone, for any number of reasons. For some it is a good thing to have a positive male influence in their lives, while for others I think it is hard for them to relate to a male authority figure. I do know that the parents appreciate having a male teacher. I even have one student whose mother requested that her child be in my class because there is no father figure in her child's life.
    As for working in a world of women.... well there is the gossip, and the "women's issues" discussions, but generally I enjoy having so many cheerful and friendly people to work with. I used to work in construction, a mostly male work environment, so this is a bit of a change, but so far so good!!! :rolleyes:
     
  16. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    May 5, 2005

    Thanks to you all for your insight and advice. I started my teaching certification program this week and as suspected I am on the only male in my classes. Hopefully that will work to my advantage :angel:

    While I know it will be an adjustment, I think it is one I am ready to take on. I am ready to ditch this corporate job that gives me no satifisfaction for a career whose rewards will come from changing lives and helping build futures, not how much money I can earn.

    I will defintiely lurk around and read as much as I can from these boards. The more I know going in, the better.

    Take care,
    Chad
     
  17. Bill_Lingle

    Bill_Lingle Rookie

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    May 8, 2005

    Chad-
    Hello, I myself am a male second year teacher (1 in Kindergarten, 1 in 1st grade) and I have not regretted one day I have had at school. The students make everything worthwhile and there is never a day that seems like it is repetitive.
    I think the biggest obstacle was one that had me worried the most...I was worried what parents would think of a "guy" around their children all day (which I know is a terrible thing to think, but it was in the back of my mind for the longest time and still at the beginning of each year it pops back in there). I agree with an earlier post and that you need to be prepared to prove yourself right off the bat, dont feel just like you are a minority that you do not need to give 110% everyday. For one thing if you are not on top of your game on a daily basis the children will run your day (because no matter what, they are always on top of their game and want to learn, especially in the earlier years). As long as your staff is a halfway decent one, you should not any animosity coming towards you.
    Back to the parents, I feel that once they get to know you, they will warm up to you and repsect what your doing. Because lets face it, Teaching the youth of tomorrow should be a career that demands respect from our communities.
    Teaching is a very noble profession and you will not regret a day in your classroom as long as you make your students feel as if they are the most important people day in and day out!!!
     
  18. wilibald

    wilibald New Member

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    May 9, 2005

    I am a male student in a teacher education program, and just completed my first in-classroom practicum. I had many fears and concerns when I started (and to some extent still do), not just because I'm training to become a male teacher, but also because I'm an asian male teacher, which turned out to be a non-issue.

    My experience in the classroom has been extremely rewarding. After hearing the stories of my students, I came to realize the responsibility my cooperating teacher (who's also male) and I have on the students, and just how many of them saw us as father figures, or in my case- an older brother. I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of the students in the class, especially the boys, quite literally clung on to me as I taught. Prior to this experience, I never realized just how powerful just being present in the daily lives of the students can be.

    In terms of discipline, the kids did try to push buttons. They're kids, you're the teacher, that'll happen. Additionally, at a mere 5'2", I'm not exactly an intimidating figure. (Yes some of my students were taller and weigh more than I do.) But once they realized that I sincerely cared about them and wanted to see them succeed, much of that fell by the wayside. Despite everything, when I'm teaching, the role just feels right.

    On a side note: in my cohort of 25 pre-service teachers training for a grade 3-8 certification, 6 of us are men. In our training classes, gender is not an issue.
     
  19. jarheadfor4

    jarheadfor4 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005

    Teaching the little guys

    As a male first grade teacher I have seen some interesting things. I have been asked to give the male perspective in the teacher’s lounge. I have been asked to speak with boys that have issues with the bathroom. I have even been asked to explain why boys behave in such a manner. I find it interesting to give the male perspective and I will often give them an answer that they don't want to hear just to stir the pot.

    Overall, I have had some really great experiences as a first grade teacher. The kids really love having a male teacher and respond positively to me. That being said, you must be ready to prove yourself to your colleagues. Don't think that being a male will give you a break. You must be on your game at all times. The students, teachers and parents will be waiting to see if you have what it takes.

    My advice for any male wanting to enter education would be to study hard and go into education with the goal of helping children succeed. Your focus should always be on improving student achievement.
     

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