Male Elementary Teacher?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Jadoo, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Jadoo

    Jadoo Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2014

    Hi guys,

    I'm a 24 year old male currently teaching ESL abroad in primary schools and middle schools in France. During my time here, I've discovered that I love being in the classroom with the elementary level kids. Having earned some experience teaching in public schools here in France, I feel like I want to be a teacher, but I'm at an impasse.

    I have a degree in Spanish and speak it fluently. As it's on the list of shortage areas for my state, I know I could potentially find positions once I complete a secondary level Spanish M.A.T.

    However, I've really enjoyed my time teaching the younger students. My favorite classes here in France have been the primary and early middle grades. In France, middle grades start from age 10 until age 13, so it's a bit different, but I always enjoy the 8-11 year olds I deal with. I don't have any experience teaching high school and I'm not sure I'd be fond of it.

    I'm at the crossroads have having to choose whether or not I want to use my Spanish degree to focus on an MAT or if I want to do it in ECE and teach elementary. In theory, my state licenses the Spanish teacher to teach P-12. In practice, very few schools have elementary or middle level Spanish programs, so I'd be pretty much tied to secondary.

    My experience has been with primary, and I really love it, but I'm afraid of the perception I might get as a male teacher in primary. I don't really care about the whole question of masculinity debate. What bothers me is that, from what I've read, parents and sometimes administrators, would prefer not to have men in the classroom at the elementary level. I don't want to be put into a place where parents are pulling their kids out of my class just because I'm a male, and I'm afraid of the tight-rope I would have to walk in terms of dealing with female students just in case accusations are thrown.

    In France, this hasn't been a problem. Although primary education is still female driven here, it's much closer to an equal split, and having a male elementary teacher is not uncommon.

    Can any male primary teachers (or female primary teachers with first hand knowledge) give me some advice? Should I simply go for the secondary education option even though my experience tells me I might be more happy working with a different age group? In the end, I still want to teach, I just don't know if the potential stigmas and pitfalls of being a male primary teacher are worth forsaking an easier time at the secondary level.
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Dec 23, 2014

    We tend to snatch up well qualified male applicants. You won't get hired just because of the Y chromosome but it's definitely not a negative.

    I'm working with one male this year who was hired because we lacked applicants and I hope he is nonrenewed but my partner at my old school was definitely one of the best teachers I have ever worked with.
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Dec 23, 2014

    No issues what so ever. Do not give it another thought.
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Dec 23, 2014

    I am female and secondary, BUT in the same building as our elementary (we are K-12 under 1 roof). From my perspective, parents and students love having a male elementary teacher. They are limited in number, but extremely valued.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 23, 2014

    I taught 1st grade my very first year as a classroom teacher. The day I interviewed for the position, the district office was also hiring for other K-5 positions. I was actually the only male who interviewed that day! There was probably 15-20 others who landed interviews.

    Last year, I was able to sit in on an interview panel. We interviewed 10 candidates. Unfortunately, none were male! :(

    If your heart is telling you to stick with elementary education, my advice is to go for it!

    Send me a PM if you need any assistance!
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 23, 2014

    I'm a third grade male classroom teacher. I have never had a parent express anything but happiness over having a male teacher. For the most part, I have a fairly feminine personality though.

    There is a fine line to walk with female students, but most of it comes down to common sense. Don't solicit touching, don't be alone without witnesses. If you do those two things, you aren't going to run into difficulties. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you'd have.

    From my perspective, it's easier for male elementary teachers to get jobs than females. There is a fairly even split of administrators that discriminate against men as those that seek out men... and since there's a smaller candidate pool, that means you have an advantage overall.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I am a female and a tutor, but I know that my old school and others around here would love to increase the percentage of male elementary teachers. I don't think there is a stigma or any negative associations just because of your gender. Go for it. Loving the age range, knowing how to teach, having experience, those are all part of a great start. Good luck.
     
  9. kitteh

    kitteh Rookie

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    I'm not sure what state you are in, but have you ever considered working in a dual -immersion elementary school? That way you could teach the grades you prefer, but still enjoy the hiring benefit of your Spanish. Here in California bilingual teachers have no problem finding jobs in immersion programs.
     
  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Do it! We have a number of male primary teachers at my school and it's fantastic. In fact, I think we have one in every grade except K. They've never been looked at negatively, and I love that our students get strong male role models so early.
     
  11. Jadoo

    Jadoo Rookie

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    Thanks so much for the positive comments so far. In response to some questions, I'm in Georgia. If I could find an elementary level immersion program here in Georgia, I'd be REALLY surprised. I'm sure some exist, but it's probably only a handful and thus very competitive!
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Dec 25, 2014

    I worked with a male K teacher for years. He taught both my oldest kids and their 4th grade teacher was male. I have been the only male teacher on staff for many years now. It is a great job and we need more males in Elem. just like we need more females at the highest levels of govt.
     
  13. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Dec 25, 2014

    I want to become an elementary school teacher as well. My undergraduate degree is in Social Science with a Concentration in Education. I always thought I would teach middle or high school, but once I worked with the HOSTS program as a mentor with 2nd and 3rd grade students I knew that elementary school was what I wanted to teach. I am currently preparing to take the remaining portion of the FTCE Elementary Education K-6 test which is Science beginning next year. I would love to teach 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade. I want to help students achieve their greatest learning potential, provide them with a safe and positive environment in which they will be successful, and inspire my students to reach their goals. It has always been my dream to be a teacher since I was in elementary school. I have experience working with both elementary and middle school students as a Paraprofessional. I have learned so much and it's because of my current experience that I will continue to learn much more as a future teacher!
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 26, 2014

    I am male and am looking for a job in elementary at the moment - had a few interviews, nothing panned out yet, but that's how it goes. I student taught in a Kindergarten. All of the parents and other teachers loved that I was a guy in elementary - as the only male at the PreK & K School was one of the custodians. During all of my observations, the teachers loved the fact that I was a guy doing elementary, especially dual certified in special education, as it isn't common in the schools around me, males are still outnumbered in elementary grades, whereas in MS/HS it is somewhat more equal.
     
  15. Jadoo

    Jadoo Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2014

    I would like to thank everyone for the advice. After giving it some thought, I have decided to go with my instincts and accept my place in the M.A.T program in ECE starting in January.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Dec 27, 2014

    Every school I've worked in has actively looked for male elementary teachers. You'll have a leg up in the job market for sure.
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Dec 29, 2014

    We only have 1 male classroom teacher in my school. It would be great if we had more, especially because there are many children that do not live with their fathers or even see them in my school.
     

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