Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Our Teacher Was a MAN!

We were the biggest kids in the school, the seniors, the ones everybody else looked up to. We were special. After all, we had the first man teacher that our 1-8 grade grammar school had ever had. The only other males in the building were the much hated principal and the much loved janitor.

I still remember his name, and I still have a clear picture in my mind of what he looked like, after all these years. I didn't have a crush on him, or anything like that, but I did think he was good looking ... all the girls did. I haven't a clue what the boys thought about having a man teacher, after 7 years of women teachers.

I've now retired from 29 years of teaching, 25 of which were in one elementary K-5 school. In that time there were usually 1 or maybe 2 male teachers out of a faculty of 30 or so, plus the male principal. The janitor was female, but there was a maintenance man for some of those years.

There's been some very bad publicity in the last few years about female teachers being jailed for having sexual relationships with young male students, and there are more and more news reports of male teachers being accused of having sex with their female students. There's also been quite a bit of research supporting the idea that students learn better in same sex classrooms with a teacher of the same sex. Between pedophile teachers and students learning going downhill, is it time to try some different classroom arrangements in our public schools? For homeschooling moms teaching sons, are you shortchanging your boys?

Did you have any experience with opposite sex teachers or same sex classrooms? Or any opinions on these ideas?

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Chana said...

i think some people whether teachers or not in any authoritive position if bad can choose to abuse their position.

the school where my kids where for all their schooling until the last 3 yrs, a private Catholic one, chosed to separare the sexes. I left just before the next yr so i don't know how it went. But i never thought it was necessary. That however, was just my opinion with no real reason as to why.

Dirty Butter said...

Chana, I know a lot of Catholic schools were always all boys or all girls schools. It would be interesting to know what kind of statistics those schools have on some standardized tests compared to mixed class Catholic schools.

OT That reminds me of a girl in my dorm in college who had gone to all girl schools all her life. She went absolutely boy crazy at the University of Alabama, which has a reputation as something of a party school, anyway. She was like a kid let loose in a candy store!

Marion said...

In the fourth grade, I had a man teacher who abused his position as my teacher by touching and feeling me in a sexual way.

Male teachers frightened me every year from then on.But I believe a balance between male and female is what I needed, not just one or the other.

An interesting subject.

Dirty Butter said...

It's a shame any child has to be scarred by a teacher's touch, Marion. I would wish that had never happened to you. I agree with you, that a balance of male and female teachers seems like the best way to do it, but some research disagrees.

jan said...

My fifth grade teacher was a man, Mr. Walters. It was unusual at that time to have a male elementary teacher, but he was the best teacher I ever had. Men were supposed to go into administration, but he so loved teaching. Luckily he had a supportive family who lived on his teacher's salary.

Dirty Butter said...

It's a shame, isn't Jan, that the salaries are so low that men do not generally stay in the classrooms, even if they do go into education. I taught a young man, who later taught with me, whom I begged not to go into administration, because he was such a good teacher. But it didn't work. He's now a bigwig at the Central Office. It's a shame.

jan said...

It is a shame. Instead of having a rewarding job working with kids, they have well paid but not very satisfying jobs of working with policy.

do know of administrators though who really never liked working with students. They got jobs as principals, etc. They should have gotten jobs outside of education.

Dirty Butter said...

Have you ever read the book, The Peter Principle, Jan? The premise of the book is that people rise to the level of their incompetency. In other words, they keep being promoted until they finally take a job that is over their heads, and then they stay in that job from then on. That's my view of much of the administrative staff of education central offices.

I'd be glad for someone who really has organizational talent to be in the central office, but it's more often teachers who are functioning beyond their capabilities, just drawing big paychecks.