Is this new? In my elementary school only one out of twelve teachers were male. I am 55.
My dad was in the military, so I attended 3 different elementary schools. I had 4 male teachers between kindergarten and 6th grade. I’m 52.
I am forty. I went to 3 schools in elementary school. I had 8 teachers in 1st to 6th grade and 3 male teachers. 3rd, 5th and 6th grades.
That’s what I was thinking. When were there significant numbers of men teaching elementary school? High school is a different ball of wax, but elementary? I can report that a male friend of mine who used to teach a broad range of ages, including elementary, came across a whole lot of suspicion simply because men are not supposed to work in elementary education so what is going on with you? This eased some after he and his wife had their first child, as that was concrete evidence he is not gay. This is within the last several years.
This should also be coupled with the CNN feature (by, coincidentally, a male teacher) “What teachers really want to tell parents” – http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents
It is interesting to look at the modern history of teaching. When it first started to move away from children simply learning from their family while growing up, to having professional teachers, it was explicitly considered a male role, as it was tied to teaching religion – with the goal that many of the now-educated children would themselves move into religious training – as well as general literacy, math, science, etc. But at a certain point, as teaching became more widespread, it came to be recognized that educated women could also serve the purpose, and teacher colleges came into being – and took off, as they provided one of the best routes for women to both pursue their own education and then make use of it in a world that was still otherwise quite limited for them in terms of available roles. As a result, the gender divide of education completely flipped, as teaching, especially of the very young, began to be looked upon as “women’s work” and men, even though not necessarily being directly prohibited from it, faced a certain societal stigma for being outside their role. And with it becoming mainly women in a society that was (and is) still historically patriarchal, came the low status and salary issues that continue to plague teaching today.
Unfortunately, even as the role-based stigma toward male teachers has finally begun to reverse itself (at least in general society, not necessarily in certain patriarchalist groups), a new stigma – the assumption of latent pedophilia in men who would want to work with children – has served to replace it in keeping men out of the education world.
Ed school contains an awful lot of heavyhanded politically correct consciousness raising. Out of sheer cussedness, men tend to resist that stuff.
Is church any different?