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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Tuesday, July 26

FREEBIE from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Hello to you all! I wanted to take just a moment to share a few things. I have listed a 2016-2017 Academic Year calendar for FREE on my Teachers Pay Teachers store! On top of posting a new product, I am hosting a sale on all of the items in my store. Take this opportunity to get one (or more) of my items at a 15% discount. The sale will run through Thursday, July 28, 2016. I am in the process of making several new items to add to the store! One of the items is a FULLY EDITABLE Teacher Binder! To get to my Teachers Pay Teachers store you can click the picture above or click the "TPT Store" tab at the top of the blog. If you have any questions, give me a shout!
Until next time...

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Monday, July 25


Natalie Grant sang it best (and believe me, you wouldn't want me to try to sing it)! When you are in the middle of a storm in life, it's raining so hard that you can't see anything that lies ahead, call out his name and he will find you and walk you through the storm. If you'd like to hear the full song, click here. This has been my recent case. I was unsure what the future held, all I knew is that it was raining and the water was quickly rising. I griped and complained about the situation I was in. I finally called out to him and he opened doors that I didn't even consider opening. You may ask yourself "What on earth does this have to do with education?" and my answer is EVERYTHING. My fellow Oklahomans know about the current situation in education for Oklahoma. I will spare you the details or dilemmas, just know that Oklahoma is hurting for teachers. I never thought I would teach outside of Oklahoma, but a door opened and I have been given the opportunity to teach just across the Red River. I'm starting a new chapter in my life where I will be teaching in Texas and (Are you sitting down?) teaching Kindergarten. I have always thought that anything lower than 2nd grade was too low for me to teach and I always had 100 excuses as to why I thought it wouldn't be a good "fit" for me. Well, God has a way of shaking you from your comfort zone. Now that we are about a month away from the start of school, I can honestly say that I am EXCITED about teaching again! I feel that this is a change that I wanted, but was too scared to take the plunge for it. Not only have I taken on the "KinderLand" challenge, but I am also taking the challenge to start back up my blog after years of neglect. I hope that you will join me in my new journey! I will be sharing funny stories (because 5 year olds are naturally funny), sharing advice (so you learn from my mistakes), and offering words of encouragement if you happen to find yourself in a storm of your own. This blog will not be for "Teachers Only", so I hope that you will follow along with me! I look forward to comments--good and bad. So go ahead...leave me a comment, share with your friends, and most importantly click the "Follow" button on my blog or follow the blog by e-mail. This is going to be the #bestyearever! Until next time my friends...

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