A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, July 13, 2009

Male teachers and the lack of them

Today the BBC is running a news item about the lack of male teachers in primary schools. It is being portrayed as problem because the children lack a male role model whilst learning. That is undoubtedly true. However, those in the teaching profession sound utterly devoid of a reason as to why this should be. Lack of male teachers, that is.

I'd venture to say it is three main reasons. The first is that many men would shudder at the thought of teaching young children for fear of one day having a paedophile label stuck on their backs. Whether this is at the forefront of one's mind or not, it is certainly a reason for caution. With so much publicity about teachers being involved in accusations and enquiries, is it little wonder that a frisson of fear goes down a man's spine when asked if teaching is a career option? Unruly children, albeit a minority, are definitely a handful.

The second is that, from the outside, teaching in primary schools is seen as a female-dominated occupation. The fact that it is and that change is being sought is neither here nor there. It is the perception that is uppermost in current thinking. It is a brave man who will do what we used to say in the sixties and "break the ice of the party". And thirdly, the issue of pay is not seen as sufficiently attractive.

I hope they can attract more male teachers for the very reasons that are being stated. But I think they should tackle the problems of attitude head-on and not stand in wonderment at the diffidence of men in a primary school teaching role.


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