Men who express physical affection for small children could be accused of being pedophiles. Men who are caring and nurturing are sometimes assumed to be gay. Men cannot make sufficient money as teachers.
These perceptions, says a Newsweek.com article, are among the reasons why the number of male teachers is at a 40-year low. Only a quarter of the nation’s teachers are men, and that number drops to just 9 percent in elementary schools, according to the National Education Association.
Bart Tittle, a 24-year-old preschool teacher who makes about $25,000 per year, says it would be difficult to make a long-term commitment to teaching. “Right now I don’t have a wife, I don’t have kids,” he said in the article. “Later in life it’s going to be much more challenging.”
Additionally, if boys do not see male teachers they will think it’s a profession only for women, thus perpetuating the problem, says Reg Weaver, president of the NEA. Some efforts are underway to address the issue, however. For example, Pennsylvania has authorized funds to create a statewide recruitment program aimed at African-American men.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.