Wednesday, July 27

Blogging: A Male Elementary Teacher's Point of View

Hello y'all! Since deciding to start blogging again (did I even really have a good start?), I have surfed and searched and pinned several blogs that I would like to follow. These blogs offer amazing advice, however many of them are the same--most of them are from the perspective of a female teacher. I don't say that to be derogatory or to minimize what they have to say, just that a guys perspective might be a little bit different. Here is my take on the whole situation:

Photo: Jeff Carlson, Models courtesy of  Playmobi
Education is predominantly a woman's career. However, I like to look at it as "Education is a called career". There are many teachers (we all know who they are) that honestly have no business teaching. Some people go into education thinking it'll be easy. After all, we get 3 months off in the summer and every holiday known to man, right? (If you are a teacher or know a teacher, you just rolled your eyes at that comment.) Statistically, male elementary teachers (K-6) make up 16% of the teaching population. Of that 16%, roughly 660,000 are male preschool & kindergarten teachers. If you look from year to year, that number as a trend has been dropping by 20,000 each year. *See for yourself here* This information shows that we are a dying breed.

There is a stereotype that is not discussed often, but it is there. 1-Often, a male teacher in elementary isn't usually seen as a "caregiver". We are seen as more harsh in our discipline. 2-There are times when our motives are questioned. Here are just a few of the comments that I have heard in my 5 years of teaching: "Why would you want to be around kids that much?", "Have you seen the new guy teacher, isn't it odd that he's teaching young children?" I tend to just shake my head and ignore those comments. Female teachers can often be seen giving hugs. Due to this preconceived notion, I have become the expert at high fives and the one armed shoulder pat! Let me say, I'm not opposed to hugs AT ALL, I just don't give them as often. Last year, on the first day of school, I had a little girl come up to me. I noticed she seemed a little standoffish. She said, "Mr. Schulz, can I ask you something?", I told her she could always ask me anything. She asked, "Do you give out hugs, like, ever?". I let her know that I absolutely did. She gave me the biggest bear hug that I have ever had in my life. Her mother met me at my classroom the very next day and I thought "Oh Boy!". Her mother was smiling from ear to ear and told me how the first thing her daughter told her when she got home from school that day was that "Mr. Schulz DOES give hugs"! It definitely warmed my heart, and I bet you can guess, that same little girl gave me a hug every day for the rest of the school year. As a male teacher, I can argue that we quickly become a "parent-like" figure in the lives of the children. Some of the bonds that I have made with children (especially those without a male figure in their homes), have lasted YEARS after I have been "their" teacher.

Parents are often shocked when they walk into my classroom at the beginning of the year. I guess they expect it to not be a "welcoming" environment. I take great pride in creating an interactive, fun, and welcoming place for my students to spend 7 hours of their day. In my classroom, we can be seen taking breaks from learning. At times we will do a few quick exercises, dance around the room, sing a song (with movement of course), or play a quick game. The students always look forward to when Mr. Schulz is on recess duty. Often times, I will throw the football around with them (while still keeping an eagle eye on the other kiddos on the playground). On rainy/snowy days, the children LOVE when we go to the gym and play dodge ball. I am a big kid at heart, so of course I played right along with them. Let me tell you, I quickly became public enemy #1, the biggest target in the game. The students take delight in getting me out, and they sure love to rub it in! Being the "guy" in the school, you sometimes get certain unpleasant responsibilities. I can't tell you how many times I've been pulled aside to discuss "proper bathroom procedures" to boys, or talking to "Johnny" about his habit of pulling at his "business" while talking to his friends. I understand it being easier to hear from the guy, because I often referred the girls to my female co-teachers when they question the sanitary box in the girls bathroom.

I guess it's time to wrap this up. The whole point of this is to ask that you take time to encourage your male teachers, don't be scared of us when you see that your child is in our class, and understand that we are here because we WANT to be! We are going to love your kiddos like crazy, have fun with them, and teach them a thing or two! If you like what you've read, I welcome you to follow along in my journey this year. It is sure to be an exciting year! I'd love to hear comments about your experience as a male teacher, your experiences with a male teacher, or comments in general about what you think about this post.

Until next time...



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10 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you! I can't wait to read all about your adventures this year :)

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    1. Thank you VERY much! I haven't been this excited to start a new school year in a LONG time! Feel free to share with your sisters :)!

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  2. I love this! I wish we had more male teachers in our school! We only have our two PE teachers and our Data Coach. Male role models are so important. I'm so glad you shared this!

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    1. Thank you SO much for taking the time to ready my blog and comment on it. I am hoping to shed a little light into our world, as it varies just a bit from the normal everyday teaching experiences! I hope you have a wonderful school year!

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  3. Great perspective!! You are so right that we often hear the female perspective in the classroom. So important to here both! Look forward to keeping up with your blog!
    Jordan
    Team J's Second Grade Fun

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    1. Thank you SO much for your time to read and comment on my blog Jordan! I hope you have an amazing school year!

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    2. Thank you SO much for your time to read and comment on my blog Jordan! I hope you have an amazing school year!

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  4. Great post and it's nice to hear the guys' perspective.

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    1. Thank you very much! I apologize for JUST NOW getting the chance to respond to your comment! I hope you have a great school year!

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  5. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post.
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