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Calling all Male Primary School teachers (Trainee or Newly Qualified)

Discussion in 'Primary' started by NDGreen, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. I'm conducting research for my dissertation on feminisation and male Perspectives within the primary sector, and i'm just trying to gather some opinions on this issue. Looking at ares such as:
    Do you believe Pimary Schools are still feminised, and classed as womens work?
    Are there still barriers, and stigmas attached to males within Primary schools?
    Are males required in a classroom to combat unruly behaviour amongst boys?
    Are males motivated by a better chance of possible leadership, than women,or does the initial starting salary put them off teaching full stop?
    Any comments/opinions/incidents/stories etc, that you share will be greatly appreciated.
    Many Thanks

  2. roddywoomble

    roddywoomble New commenter

    1) Primary schools are perceived as feminine, but I see nothing feminine about it and think it's just as respectable a job for a male to have. Often, I think women are more suited to the pastoral side of things but I have managed to become more caring and compassionate as my training has gone on.
    2) Stigmas - yes. Have been briefed on safe contact on numerous occasions and many will make the token paedophile joke.
    3) No - women can do just as good a job. It depends on the person I think, but a small percentage of boys will work harder for the approval of a male teacher, in my experience.
    4) Haven't been put off at all by the initial salary - I'll just be glad to have a job during the recession. As for leadership, a lot of people have asked me if that's where I'm aiming (and it's clear there are lots of male head teachers) but that did not motivate me to join the profession. Infact, I got into it for the kids and think a leadership position would take me from the very reason I signed up! I can't really speak for other males, to be honest - they'll have to post underneath!
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Only to the ones who haven't yet grasped the proper use of English.
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    On the whole, yes. The extent to which a man is accepted obviously
    depends on many different factors such as local demographics, leadership and
    the existing sex-ratio. for instance, in my first placement during
    training I was told that I would never succeed because the children wouldn't
    know how to respond to a man, most being in single parent households.

    I've also had the usual paedophile jokes and the more common, and entirely
    serious, assumption that I must be gay.

    I don't know about men having a better chance of leadership. In
    the schools I have worked in I have noticed that the make teachers are (with
    some exceptions) somewhat isolated, tending to avoid the staffroom. In a
    different placement I started avoiding the staffroom after one teacher kept
    talking about needing a bikini wax and how the beautician would have to arrange
    her to do a good job (and as she reminded me of Miss Piggy, I found myself put
    off my lunch). I think it is easier to take on a strong leadership role
    when you aren't part of the group to begin with.

    Then there's always the old chestnut about maternity leave. As men
    don't have this time out of school (much as many would like to be able to be
    there for their children), they are able to take on longer term projects.
    I have heard of some schools where the HT was upfront about the mere
    possibility of maternity leave being the main reason for her allocation of
    roles and classes.

    I've also gotten tired of being told that, being male, I'll have no problem
    getting a job, or that I'll be management soon. These assumptions can cut
    both ways - maybe it is easier to get a job/promotion (I really don't know),
    but the assumption that it will happen can lead to suspicion and
    passive-aggressive behaviour.

    No. If anything, I think men tend to allow the class to be a little
    noisier and more boisterous.

    Some boys respond better to a man, but it depends on the boy, the man and
    their shared interests (i.e. I have no interest in football which horrifies
    some of my boys) or gender performance.

    I've probably answered that already but I'll add a couple more
    points. Money isn't a factor for most people who consider teaching - it's
    a vocational profession.

    I think it's interesting that in my cohort of 160ish people, about 40
    dropped out over the 4 years, yet of the 20ish guys, only 7 or 8 are
    graduating. I'd love to know why the attrition rate for male students is
    so much higher than for females. I suspect it has to do with the
    expectations of schools and university tutors about how a teacher should talk
    and act; sing-song voices, calling kids sweetheart and darling, etc. - these
    often aren't a good fit for men. Male teachers are left to create their
    teaching-persona with far less modelling than their female counterparts.


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