Can a male find an elementary teaching job

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pen4Pencil, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    Hi everyone. I am a male student who is going into education. I have taken all the general education requirerments and all classes that are necessary for graduation. Now I just have to choose one of three programs; elementary education, special education, or secondary education.
    I really love elementary education. I have been volunteering/working with students K-5 since I was 14 years old. I especially love the lower primary grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade. The 3 schools that I have been helping at have told me that I have a knack for younger kids.
    However, I am worried about the possibilities of finding a job. Every one tells me that each year the amount of elementary male teachers is falling. Does that mean that school do not want to hire them for some reason?
    I would love to teach elementary students, but I know that my passion will not account to much if I do not find a job. And I do know that in high schools in the surrounding districts, there are many male teachers.
     
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  3. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    It depends on what you mean by "elementary". In some schools, elementary is K-6. Some it is K-3, some is is K-4. Do I know male 4th-6th teachers? Yes, plenty of them, I also know a male kindergarten teacher. And you mention special education, at least in the main 2 districts I work at- many of the behavioral/life skills/LSC/SpeD teachers on all grades are male. So maybe that is a route you could try.

    A second thing it depends on is the area. In small town conservative tiny school, you likely won't have as good of a chance to get a job versus big town/city liberalville. Not saying either is right or wrong, just different.

    Unfortunately, many people still have the mindset that women are better nurturers than men. While this may be true in a lot of cases, it isn't true in all of them. Historically, teaching of children was seen as "woman's work", and that is a hard stereotype to get away from. For what it's worth, my "resource"/sped teacher in elementary was a male. My best ever teacher in my entire school career, was my HS history Teacher, he was a man as well.

    Don't let being a male stop you from trying. Just as women have had to work their way up the corporate ladder for historically male jobs, men have to as well. No matter how you slice it, at the end of the day you're a male- and parents/admin/other teachers will inevitably have "issues" and "concerns". It doesn't make it right, but it just means you have to try harder.

    Hope it works out, keep us posted! :)

    M.
     
  4. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    You are totally correct about it depending on the area. In my area, there are several districts. The smaller districts which have a higher population of religious people have almost no males in their schools. In the bigger districts that are considered modern and technologically advanced there are several males.
    In my state ( Michigan ), elementary is known as K-5.
     
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  5. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    The schools vary in my districts. (I work in 9). I wouldn't go so far as to say it's discrimination, but there is a concern there. Dealt with similar when I was the nursery director at my former church, a guy (who had a master's in early childhood education, mind you) was not allowed to work the nursery. Parents complained that "I don't want a man touching my little girl" (referring I guess to possible diaper changes etc). Sigh.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I've always, always, had at least one male every year at my grade level... and I've taught 1st and 2nd. In Utah male teachers, even elementary, even lower elementary, are pretty common.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I despise this mentality. Do they not have fathers involved? And clearly they love teaching their precious sons they only see them as future pedators.
     
  8. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    I agree that by not having a male in early childhood it might have kids see men as bad people. Parents would cause too many problems with diaper changes, hugs, or complain that I touched a child inappropriately when trying to help them on with their coat.
    That is why I will not teach anything below Kindergarten. It is just too stressful.
     
  9. Mr.Mike

    Mr.Mike Rookie

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    Yes, it is possible. Just make sure that you take exams for teacher certification in several states. This way you will have a much easier time getting a job in a more progressive and modernized state, which doesn't view elementary education to be only for women.
     
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  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm surprised at the other responses. Male elementary teachers are highly sought after in my area. Principals want to hire them, there just aren't many because there simply aren't a lot of men that go into elementary education. My P has told us that unless their resume/application is truly awful, she interviews every male applicant she gets. That doesn't mean they'll get the job, but if all other things are equal they'd probably get chosen in an effort to diversify the staff. I've been to job fairs where when schools are asked to post what they're looking for several say things like, "We are looking for minority candidates and male elementary teachers." I once went on an interview that I thought went pretty well until I saw that the candidate after me was a man. I thought right away, "Well, I didn't get this job!" I think that as long as you interview decently you will have absolutely no problem getting a position.
     
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  11. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    Hi waterfall. Do you know if the males getting hired are in upper elementary ( 3rd-5th) or lower elementary ( K-2nd ) ?
     
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  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I think schools would be glad to have them in any grade. I personally know more male teachers that teach intermediate, but I think that's just due to the fact that those are the grades they want to teach rather than them not getting hired in lower grades. My dad is an elementary teacher and he's never had any problem getting a job. He taught 2nd grade for quite awhile. He's now in 4th and he just personally prefers that grade much more than 2nd.
     
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  13. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    Thanks. I just asked since all the male elementary teachers in the surrounding districts are mostly situated in the 4th and 5th grade. There is only 1 lower elementary male teacher in 29 schools.
     
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  14. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I think the number of male teachers is falling because less of them are going until elementary education.
    We definitely need more of them, especially in early childhood!
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Unwillingness to hire them is, I think, the least important factor in determining how many men are currently teaching lower elementary school. There's a matter of supply: fewer men apply to lower elementary positions, and in the wake of the crash of 2008 I think most schools of education cut back on enrollments, which means fewer new teachers in the pipeline. Instead of focusing on current employment numbers, Pen4Pencil, why not interview a selection of principals in your area about whether they'd hire a qualified man to teach a lower grade?
     
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  16. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    That is a good idea. However, in all of my years volunteering/working in schools, I know that principals lie. They can say something to appease you, but in the end it will be entirely different. I think that they would say yes in order not to appear discriminatory. But still, I will ask some of them that I have a good rapport with.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That's quite the blanket statement. Sounds like your sample population of principals needs to be expanded.
     
  18. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    See I've gotten the OPPOSITE response. Admin LOVE me because I'm a male... These kids NEED male role models & have been told all through my ed classes, "You'll easily find a job being a male teacher," and it's true.
    But being a male isn't ENOUGH, of course. You'll also need experience, networking, and a solid interview where they feel IT! You have to really show them you're passionate about what you do.
    Trust me, I've played the male card and it has worked. Because they know.
     
  19. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Speaking as a male classroom teacher, getting a job was an absolute breeze. I've done 13 interviews, and 8 of them offered me a job.
     
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  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    You need to be able to apply to a wide area. I applied to 15 districts (In NJ, that isn't a lot, there are a lot of towns in my area), I got interviews at 6 or 7 of them. At some of the interviews, the principals were surprised when they saw I was a guy and ended the interview very quickly. At others, the interviewers were very happy to see a guy applying for an elementary job.

    However, right now, I cannot work. It sucks, especially since the week after I first couldn't start looking, I got 3-4 calls for interviews and I had to decline all of them.
     
  21. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    A bit of advice: don't be so paranoid and suspicious of schools and their faculty. It almost seems like you want them to judge against you for being male.

    Your gender isn't nearly so big a deal in hiring as you're worrying it is.
     
  22. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    Wow, your experience is very different from what is happening in my area. There were several incidents where male teachers/coaches were arrested for sexually assaulting students, so I think that this is a big deterrent for the principals in my area.
     
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  23. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    It's an archaic mindset for sure. The response is "I trust my husband". I get that a lot of single moms have had experiences of men being bad fathers and abusive, and that they might be more comfortable with a woman helping their daughter say, use the restroom or change diaper. But come on, a lot of good, solid living men are out there. This guy was even a former youth pastor. I know that isn't foolproof because Unfortunately in today's society, sexual abuse is rampant, even in churches. (Priests and altar boy drama, remember??). But with so many absent fathers, boys and girls need a strong male authority figure in their life, especially when they are little!
     
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  24. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    The schools I've worked in have been Title 1 schools, unfortunately meaning quite a few single moms.

    Here's what I've heard from the considerable number of male elementary teachers: Those guys very often get requested. Why? These single moms are thinking a nice respectable teacher is a great male role model.
     
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  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We (administrators) truly want positive role models for our students. That being said, I'm always thrilled to see male applicants. Bottom line, though, is that we always look for the best fit--regardless of whether it's a man or woman.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
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  26. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    Thanks for all the support. I choose the elementary education program. Only 12 more credits and I will be a certified teacher.
     
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  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You will be WONDERFUL.
     
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  28. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I can't remember if it were here or somewhere else, but someone was talking about some retired Marine, a hulking giant of a man, who became a very popular kindergarten teacher.
     
  29. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    One of my best friends from college was the only male elementary ed major in my graduating class. He really wanted to teach kindergarten (just his personal preference) and he had four job offers within a few weeks of graduation. He was told over and over that schools really appreciated having a positive male role model for younger students.

    At my school we don't have any elementary classroom teachers that are male, but we have a few TAs, several SPED teachers, and several others including PE/music/art, etc.
     
  30. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    This gives me more confidence in my ability to find a job. I am one of 2 males in my elementary education program ( which has 57 students) and there is 1 guy in the early chilldhood program ( which has 60 students ).
     
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  31. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    OH! You've reminded me of this book, written by a former AtoZ regular. He was an amazing kindergarten teacher and is now a reading specialist. He has a website that shares a name with his book.
     
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  32. Pen4Pencil

    Pen4Pencil Rookie

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    It is the kindergarten smogasboard
     
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  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'm glad to hear that you chose the elem certification route! When I was going through my student teaching, there was a male who was a semester ahead of me that did his student teaching in kindergarten. When he graduated, the school hired him as a full time kindergarten teacher. He worked at the school for a few years before moving to a bigger city to teach. I think school WANT more male elementary teachers to serve as positive role models.
     
  34. Mr.Mike

    Mr.Mike Rookie

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    Thanks. It is just that the on
    Was he the only male teacher in that school?
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Bros, weren't you limiting your job search to a very small area due to your need to use public transportation? I know in my area in NJ, 15 districts could be a very easily commutable distance, but not necessarily mass transportation accessible. I doubt the interviews ended because you are a male. NJ is a competitive market. Always has been. They don't eliminate candidates because of gender. Like others have said, districts are looking for the best fit- experience, education, ability, poise, appearance, passion...a 'total package'
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  36. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    When I was on the hiring committee, we loved seeing that there were male applicants. There were some who weren't hired because someone else was a stronger candidate, but that is exactly as it should be.

    Good luck!
     
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  37. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yes, the 15 districts were all easily commutable - hence my comment about how it wasn't a lot and there are a lot of towns in my area.

    One interview did end because I was a guy, I am 99% sure of it. I got there 25 minutes before the interview time, there was a woman my age in the office for an interview, she got called in. 30 minutes later, she was done with her interview. The principal turns to the secretary, says "Tell me when <my name> gets here. Her interview started 5 minutes ago." The secretary says "He's right there." The principal looks a bit shocked, says "Oh, I thought you were from IT, we have had a lot of computer problems lately."

    After a few basic questions - basically asking me about stuff from my resume, she ended the interview, without asking me any other questions.
     
  38. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Maybe she had already made her decision about hiring a prior candidate. Or maybe she had the impression from the short interview that you weren't a fit. She may have thought you were going to be a female (is your name not gender specific?) but it's highly doubtful that was what was the deciding factor in not offering you the position. Having served on hiring committees, it is common for some interviews to run longer when the panel/interviewer wants to know more about a candidate who seems like a fit or the candidate interviews well and the interview takes on a conversation like feel. Shorter interviews tend to be candidates who don't have a lot to say, are lacking in experience, or who seem to not be a fit from the start. Length of interview is not based on candidate gender.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016

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