I recently read an article which was questioning why there are so few male teachers in the ‘education profession’, especially in regards to early years teachers.
The article goes on to say; ‘There needs to be more male role models for children in early years education, the school leaders' union NAHT says, as only 3% of teachers in this field are men.’
3% is a shockingly low statistic, and I have to say I’m rather surprised at how low it really is. I knew it was lower compared to female teachers, but not by this stretch!
It made me reminisce back to my early years in nursery and primary school, and sure enough I didn’t have a single male teacher. The first one I had was not until year 6! I wonder if you draw up any similarities?
Given a class of children have both boys and girls, it’s important therefore for the children to have male and female teachers, a balance, just like anything in life. Perhaps especially more so for boys though.
Boys can sometimes be more active when they have a male teacher and some more so if they consider that person to be a role model to them. Combined with the fact more and more boys today lack the necessary father figure at home and it becomes a social problem, that strays outside of the schools.
Social problems that stem from this can crop up in a multitude of ways. Perhaps the more well known one is, how so many of todays children (especially boys) are being diagnosed with ‘ADHD’ (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Essentially, this is boredom (perhaps of the lesson content or the school itself) and the child in question isn’t being stimulated in the way they desire. So what is done? Doctors/parents/teachers pump them full of drugs, which is great for the pharmaceutical companies, but not so great for the child.
So is ADHD because of an imbalance in teachers? There could be a link, I’m sure if you were to research hard enough you may find it, but I think the reality is that its’ a variety of issues that causes it.
Boys tend to find school more of a uphill battle in some ways compared to girls. I know that I did in some ways, and if you spoke to other men they’d likely say the same. It certainly wasn’t an enlightening experience that equips your mind, body and spirit for the REAL world! In some ways, the opposite is true - ‘dumbing down’ is something that seems to be happening, and if you’re a teacher you probably see it.
So let me try to offer a solution to this problem. Let it be known that to set a person on a right path, it starts in the early years, and it’s important in this time to impart useful skills, knowledge and truths on them as soon as they are mentally capable.
As they get older, perhaps when they reach secondary school, their minds have already been ‘molded’ by 7 years of ‘education’ by mostly females following a very specific and rigid curriculum set by a certain group of people. If some of this ‘education’ contains certain fallacies that could of been corrected before school, then the mind is much harder to ‘re-mold’ and sometimes it’s too late - it’s set! Game, set, match!
So to those fellow enlightened men out there considering teaching, consider early years teaching and plant that seed of enlightenment to the next generation of people, allow those that follow us to have greater awareness of the world around them.
You can find the news article that stimulated my writing here.