Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sandy Hook: Too many women, not enough men?

I saw this this morning: 

From National

"Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza."

According to the stats from the Department of Education as recently as 2007-2008, females comprised 76% and males 24% of all public school teachers. I found this from an article in the Huffington Post:
Why the downward trend in male teaching? According to Bryan Nelson, founder of MenTeach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recruiting male teachers, research suggests three key reasons for the shortage of male teachers: low status and pay, the perception that teaching is "women's work," and the fear of accusation of child abuse.
Many men once in the profession say they quit because of worries that innocuous contact with students could be misconstrued, reports the NEA.
"There's a lack of support for male teachers, a lack of respect, and a lack of being able to be involved in decision-making," says Reg Weaver, president of the NEA. "And I can't say it's getting better."
Low salary levels have also proved to be a deterrent, especially for those men who value being the breadwinners of the family. The average U.S. public school teacher salary for 2005-2006 was $49,026, according to the NEA. "There's a long-entrenched idea that males are supposed to make lots of money and be a big-time breadwinner," Brown says. "But teaching won't make anyone rich."
Historically, a majority of teachers were male until the 1880s, when women pushed for their own education and the opportunity to teach. In the 1930s, after the stock market crashed, a big surge of men returned to education, as they did after World War II, says Nelson. "In tough economic times, men looking for work returned to education," since there were always teaching jobs available, he says.
Of the men who currently choose to pursue a career in education, many are promoted to administrative positions, often quicker than their female colleagues, says Steve Peha, president of Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc., an education consulting company. "Even if men start out in the classroom, they often don't stay there for long," says Peha.
And then there are gender stereotypes to contend with. "Particularly in the younger grades, women are seen as nurturers," says Brown. "Men, not so much."
What can be done to stem the tide and attract male teachers?
Increase recruitment efforts, for starters, say experts. "We've seen efforts to recruit minorities into teaching," says Peha, "and efforts to recruit adults looking for alternative careers, but we've never seen a coordinated effort to recruit men."
To be effective, recruiting must begin while men are still in school, he says. "We won't see more male teachers if we don't see more young men pursuing teaching degrees," says Peha.
Its an interesting observation that the writer in the National Review makes but there were male teachers in Columbine and a majority of males at the Ft. Hood shooting. Might it have made a difference at Sandy Hook Elementary? Its possible, but plenty of other things could've "possibly" made a difference as well...


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