51 answers

Concern About Male Teacher

Okay...so, I almost feel guilty about asking this question. Do you have concerns about male teachers? From my observations, most men do not like to work for long periods of time around children under the age of 5. It's more normal for men to work with preteens, teens and young adults.

Both of my sons attend daycare twice a week. My oldest, now four, bonds with this male teacher working at the daycare. He claims that he's taking classes to become a teacher and that this gives him experience. Do you think this throws up a red flag or am I being too judgemental of men because of all the negative media? Any opinions welcome:)

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This makes me really sad, ALL men get such bad reps just because of the few creeps out there. My husband absolutely loves kids and is wonderful with them--but he is terrified and nervous whenever he plays with them because of how men are judged to be perverts. Judge him by his actions and not by his gender. This is extremely sexist.

10 moms found this helpful

My Dad taught K-8th. He enjoyed they little ones because they loved being at school the most. I don't think there is anything wrong with a man teaching little ones.

9 moms found this helpful

Having worked in childcare my whole life I have had a few male co teachers and have found them all to be honest and in it for the right reasons. The children both girls and boys bond with a male teacher differently than the female teachers. I think it is wonderful for me to want to work with kids so closely. I wouldn't be concerned!

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Hi L.,

I've worked in two daycare settings, and at one place, my favorite and least favorite teachers were male. (The other place categorically wouldn't hire men.) My male assistant was *wonderful*, a gem, was awesome with the kids and genuinely had a good disposition for the work. I've never had another coteacher like him. The other guy-- he threw me a bunch of red flags immediately and the director didn't listen to my concerns; he left about 4 months later, escorted from the building.

I've worked with great and terrible female teachers too. Here, the gender of the teacher is not at issue, it's the quality of the teacher's time with the children in the classroom.

I also have a male child care provider for my son in the hours after preschool. He has a great temperament for working with young children, a lovely daughter, solid family life-- he's just a SAHD looking to make a little extra money. I don't know what to do without him.

Men who work with young children are often unfairly stigmatized as being 'creepy'; this really has a negative impact on the child care industry as a whole. Children need positive male influences from birth, not just as preteens. Often, for kids in need (the center I worked at had a lot of 'at risk' kids), waiting to have this sort of solid male guidance is too little, too late. Some center directors are reticent to hire male teachers because they worry that the parents will have a problem with it. Nevermind that some of these guys have their ECE, child psych degrees, or are just fabulous with kids.

And yes, the media plays into that. We never read about loving and supportive community relationships between men and children, just teachers of older children; and there's a sad presumption that men shouldn't be nurturing and shouldn't want to work with youngsters. It's such a detriment to our culture, and to men as well, who shouldn't be marginalized by their gender any more than women should.

(If anyone suggested that a woman couldn't do a certain job because her gender wasn't 'inclined' to do it, we'd all be having a fit. Being a former machinist--- before going into childcare--I've certainly experienced plenty of opportunities to ponder proscribed gender roles!)

If you want to learn more about some of the qualities in male teachers I admire, check out "The Fatherstyle Advantage: Surefire Techniques Every Parent Can Use to Raise Confident and Caring Kids" by Kevin O'Shea and James Windell. It's an eye-opening read into just how important fathers are to helping our children develop confidence, independence and empathy.

And don't feel guilty for asking. Better to ask than assume!:)
H.

13 moms found this helpful

This makes me really sad, ALL men get such bad reps just because of the few creeps out there. My husband absolutely loves kids and is wonderful with them--but he is terrified and nervous whenever he plays with them because of how men are judged to be perverts. Judge him by his actions and not by his gender. This is extremely sexist.

10 moms found this helpful

You are being very judgmental, but I appreciate you asking others' opinions here in this forum.

I met a wonderful young man years ago when my kids were taking gymnastics. He was the best instructor we had there - a ton better than the women. He had 5 year olds, especially those squirrley boys that exhausted me just watching them wriggle and have ants in their pants the entire time. He could handle those kids in the most wonderful way. This was HIS stepping stone to taking classes to become a teacher. He loved little kids and very much wanted to teach. I hope he was able to afford going to school.

It cannot have escaped you that WOMEN teachers have been in the news in the worst way, having affairs with young teenage boys. Does that give women teachers a black eye? No. I for one am very glad to see men teaching children. So many kids in urban areas don't have a father in the home. Sometimes teachers are the only decent role models they have. However, that doesn't mean that men should have to all be stuck in the "at risk" schools, though goodness knows, that's a great place to have strong males who can handle a classroom.

My own sons went to an all - male school overseas and had many male teachers. I'm grateful for both their male and female teachers, but especially the men, because my sons had role models to help take the place of their uncles we didn't see very often. One of my sons was giving me such a hard time about his pants, of all things, which I let HIM pick out over the summer. He said they were "stupid". I wrote an email to his favorite teacher (a man) and told him my problem, and asked him if he could find it in his heart to compliment my son on his pants. He did. My son never complained about his pants again and wore them from then on. Sounds silly, but it's just an example of how a good teacher who our children can bond with can be so helpful to us as parents.

This man at your daycare will end up being a great dad some day and a great teacher.

D.

10 moms found this helpful

There are so many different kinds of men. And many men do love being with little kids; they just have a personality type that is perfect for it. My daughter attended a daycare organized by a caring young man looking to help low-income mothers. He was marvelous with the kids, many of whom needed good male role-models. He also had motherly women on staff, recognizing that both men and women help round out a child's experience.

Forward one generation, my grandson was in a home daycare in which both husband and wife worked, though the wife was the most involved. But the husband did some neat stuff with the kids, and we were happy for his participation.

Finally, one of my husband's best friends, now retired, volunteered a few days a week at a neighborhood daycare that had a number of special needs kids. He established a special uncle/big brother relationship with two of those boys, who had no father in the home, and years later, as they approach their teens, he's still an important figure in their lives.

It's unfair to categorize all men as being suspect just because they hang around kids. Many men are truly terrific with children and have a great deal to offer. The world is better for their contribution. And all but the tiniest minority of adult males would much sooner come to a child's rescue than harm a child in any way.

9 moms found this helpful

Giving this line of thinking, then you should probably be concerned about your husband being around your children. I mean, it is a man around a child for a long period of time and all...

Of course you don't think twice about your husband being around your kids. That's just silly and foolish. I think you're being entirely too judgmental.

For what it is worth, when I was in college working on my education degree I had a good friend with the nickname "Stimmy". He was the big, burly, smiley, fun-loving fraternity boy with a heart of gold and the demeanor of a sweet teddy bear. He was an elementary education major and kids just LOVED him. He was so awesome working with the kindergarten and 1st grade kids that he was offered a position during his student teaching.

9 moms found this helpful

My Dad taught K-8th. He enjoyed they little ones because they loved being at school the most. I don't think there is anything wrong with a man teaching little ones.

9 moms found this helpful

My son still talks about his third grade teacher, Mr. Williams. We loved him...it was such a nice change to have a male teacher since all of teachers, up to that point, had been female.

Now, in high school, he has a few more male teachers than in elementary and middle, and really enjoys them.

I don't think it is "weird" for men to be care-takers and/or become teachers. I worked in youth development for almost a decade and some of our best program staff where male. Many of our staff, male and female, worked at the clubs while they went to college for an education degree - it is great experience for them and helps them apply in-class lessons to real life situations.

Societal stereotypes lean towards care-taking and teaching being womens' jobs, which just isn't true. Men are just as capable as taking care of our little ones, sometimes more so, as women are. Granted, horrible things happen, and adults do heinous things to children, but to assume that a man working with children has evil intent is judgmental. Get to know this teacher then form an opinion of him. Don't use negative press as a benchmark to measure him by - give him a chance please.

God Bless

8 moms found this helpful

Comments like this one are why my husband is applying to other jobs. He has been a third grade teacher for 5 years and is wonderful at it! He works at a high poverty level school where many of the children do not have a positive male influence, and he is the best thing that could happen to those children. He shows them that men can do more than hit their mamas, and teach them about drugs.
It is so sad that this world has come to a point where this is an issue. Just because a man wants to be a teacher doesn't mean they are up to something.

8 moms found this helpful

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