Missing: male teachers

The number of male teachers is nearing a 40-year low. One quarter of K-12 teachers are men; only 9 percent of elementary school teachers are men.

Why? It’s the money, says Newsweek, though that’s as good or better than it used to be.

The stereotypes also discourage men from teaching young children.

. . . if a man expresses tenderness or too many traits associated with being female, some parents assume the male teacher is gay. Last fall Justin Smith, a first-grade teacher in North Kansas City, Mo., told the mother of one of his students that he’d be happy to tie a scarf on the child’s Halloween costume. A few hours later, the principal notified Smith that the mother had requested her son be pulled from the class because she didn’t want her child “taught by a homosexual.”

Smith is married. To a woman.

The fear of child molesting accusations makes male teachers very cautious. If his first-grade students need help “undoing buckles or rebuttoning pants when using the toilet,” Smith makes them step into a public hallway where he has witnesses.

Mister Teacher has a third-grade student who calls him “Miss Teacher.”

About Joanne


  1. Another reason for alternative teacher certification – they attract more males than traditional programs. Over 38% of the teachers in our program are male and they say that it is the program efficiency and low cost that finally attracted them into teaching. (http://www.abcte.org/research)

  2. Another reason to stay clear of the profession is to avoid accusations of sexual harassment by female teachers, particularly the ones right out of ed school. Being friendly to certain female teachers can get you in trouble, or they can get you in trouble if they don’t like you. In such cases you’re guilty until proven innocent. Younger teachers have been steeped in feminist ideology, not to say that the entire ed school curriculum has not been politicized. I’ve learned the hard way to stay away from certain teachers of the gentler sex, I mean, gender.

  3. This kind of thing may be true after the fact, and it may be true in certain hyper-silly situations, but I don’t think there’s a lot of male undergrads out there who say, “Gosh, I’d go into teaching if it wasn’t for the ever-present threat of an unjustified sexual harassment charge.” If anything, those same male ungrads are thinking, “Target rich environment.”

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    And those predatory mommies. You just know they are gonna play footsie with you at parent meetings. And those luscious tweenagers.
    Naw, not worth it. Go with the coal mining job.

  5. You usually don’t find out about hostile colleagues until after the fact. And, yes, there are some scrumptious mommies out there.

  6. Bob Diethrich says:

    This male high school teacher would like to make this observation. Hmmmmmmm Only 9% men in the elementary schools, which means over 90% of the teachers, counselors and principals ar women, some of whom are from feminist oriented ed programs, and 92% of the elementary school students that are put on behavior altering medication are boys………..NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, nothing to see here folks, move along please, nothing to see here!

  7. Face it, telling a parent “I would be
    sstho happy to tie your child’s ssthcarf,”
    is a real pussy-fied thing to say.

    Under those cirrcumstances, in that situation,
    (I assume it was preparations for the Halloween
    parade), lots of legalities are streatched;
    classroom behaviors, etc.

    I would have taken a back seat and policed
    my class so that laws weren’t broken.


    Yes. While working as a substitute on extended
    assignments, Twice I have worked with a slow,
    and somewhat emmotionally unstable student at
    the beginning of the school year (these are
    two independent cases). Later that year I
    came across either of them in Special Ed Class,
    and with far more sever behavior.

    They were good students with minor behavior
    flaws at first, but they had become hellraisers
    when I had to work with them about 4 months

    I believe they ended up with women teachers
    who misread their behaviors.

  8. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Women misread boy behavior? Poppycock. They already know that little men are as despicable as big men.

  9. Boys need a firm hand, and unfortunately I don’t see many female teachers who are willing to provide it.
    A boy talks out of turn in my class, and he learns real quick that he’s done wrong. On the other hand, I can also give my class the freedom to joke around and enjoy themselves – the key is to teach them to realize when different behaviors are appropriate.