Where have all the male teachers gone?

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

I don’t know if you know, I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but I’m an English teacher. What? Oh, I did mention it, numerous times? Well, you’re about to learn a lot more about my profession than you ever thought you’d know. I teach in a secondary school, that’ the 11-18 age bracket. As I’ve said before, I love my job, I have a good relationship with other staff members, I have a good relationship with most of the students (some I don’t, simply because it’s impossible to get on with everyone, no matter how hard I try), and, perhaps most importantly, I work my arse off to make sure the kids I teach get the best education I can give them.

Education is in a state right now, especially in the UK. Teachers recently went on strike over Michael Gove’s insistence on fucking about with how many hours we work in a week, and how much we contribute to our pension (teacher pensions might I add, not state pensions).

But this blog isn’t about how much of a twat Michael Gove is, that’s for another day. This is about the lack of male role models and influences in UK education. I’ve been a teacher for enough years now to know that there is a serious lack of male teachers in the UK. There are loads of reasons for this, some pretty simple, some a bit more sinister. In the hopes of trying to explain the discrepancies between the amount of male and female teachers, I did a very limited amount of research, and kept coming back to the same answers. 3 answers in particular. One of which is perfectly understandable, the other two I found quite interesting, especially when you consider how things would be if the genders were reversed. I only needed the first page of Google to do this research. The first page. I would imagine if I took the time to actually delve deeper I’d find even more evidence that would strengthen these points. As it is, it’s late and, after a long day, my eyes are blurry.

The first point I want to raise, possibly one of the more simple reasons, is that men are just not choosing to become teachers. Fair enough, there are plenty of jobs that are one gender-heavy simply because the other gender doesn’t want to do it. Nothing wrong with that. However, what does tickle me is the lack of feminists who are crying out for gender-equality in schools. According to research, only 38% of secondary school teachers are male. If that were the other way round, and only 38% were women, I can guarantee there’d be a national drive and Harriet sodding Harman would be on her soap box about how female teachers are being discriminated against. Then, she’d probably propose a 40% quota to ensure women are more represented.

Of course, that hasn’t happened because nobody gives a shit if it’s males that are under-represented. After all, who really wants a potential paedophile to be perving on their kids for 6 hours a day? Right?!

Funnily enough, there are organisations out there that are trying to help, trying to get men interested in the benefits of teaching. Unfortunately, nobody knows they exist because they aren’t dealing with the country’s top priority – getting women into management positions and politics.

It seems to be working, the same research shows that 25% of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are male, up from previous years. However, that is still only a quarter of newly qualified teachers. And, of course, they are not evenly spread around the country. 20% of the 25% might have qualified in the North East, leaving only 5% for the rest of the country. Statistics, as the feminists have shown us, will highlight a problem, but they don’t always, and can’t always, give us the full picture. 25% might seem like a lot, but it’s a quarter, and there’s no indication of where they qualified, or what part of the country the work in. It’s not necessarily a positive thing.

But that’s only one side of the problem. In primary schools it’s even worse. Only 12% of primary school teacher are male. Some schools (25% according to some studies) have no male members of staff (that includes management/cleaners/caretakers etc) at all, meaning that in some areas boys go until they are 11 or 12 before seeing a male role model. If they happen to live in a single parent family, and that parent happens to be the mother, that’s 11 years without a full time role model around. That’s huge.

There are some reasons put forward for men not wanting to become teachers, particularly primary school teachers. Money is one factor. There isn’t enough money in teaching to interest men. That’s a fair point. I mean, I make good money, but I could jack it all in tomorrow, become a private tutor and double my income. Some say it’s the amount of pay you get for the workload. Again, a fair point. Some say it’s the fact that men aren’t as ‘nurturing’ as women, which is bullshit. This job is not about being a child’s parent, it’s about teaching them what they need to develop. We don’t ‘nurture’ children in the same way a parent does, we nurture them in our duties as a teacher. We are not their parents.

Those are all fair enough reasons. There is a drive to get more men into teaching, which is a good thing, and it seems to be working. But there’s one reason that drives more men away from teaching than any other. And it’s this reason, I believe, that we can thank the feminists for.

All men = potential paedophiles.

“What do you mean you want to be around small kids all day? Do you want to fuck them or something?” C’mon, tell me you haven’t heard that train of thought around somewhere? It’s a thought that floats around in the public conscience every single day. The only reason men want to work with small children is because they secretly want to molest them. We can thank feminism for that and the constant demonisation of men and male sexuality. Is it any wonder men are shying away from education, particularly primary education, when all it takes is one simple accusation for a man’s life and career to be destroyed?

I watched a Youtube clip recently of Harriet Harman on Question Time where she basically stated it was better for men to be thrown under the bus with a false allegation than for a child to allege something and not be believed. What kind of pathetic, callous train of thought is that? She is willing to sacrifice a person’s career, hoping that they themselves will sacrifice their own career, in order for a child to not feel like they aren’t being believed. That’s seriously the only option she could come up with? Is she that stupid? What possible reason is there for her to think that the only way to make a child feel safe and believed is to possibly sacrifice the career of the accused? Is that how little regard she holds men in?

Of course, the research I found couldn’t just develop the issue in terms of men. It couldn’t just provide a report on the shortage of male teachers in schools and leave it at that. No, it had to include women, as though including a statistic about women made it ok that men were choosing not to enter education because ‘look, women have it bad too’.

Apparently, only 16% of women working in nursery and primary schools are in senior positions, compared with 32% of men. But again, statistics don’t tell the whole story. If there are 25% of schools that have no male staff whatsoever, then that 32% completely disappears, and the 16% suddenly becomes pretty significant. If a school employs 60 people, and only has 1 male, or 2 males, or 3 males, as some do, then that 32% equates to less than one person. If there are 57 women, that 16% equates to 5 or so people. That’s less than one male in a senior position, compared with 5 women. See how statistics lie?!

And look at those figures, it pales into insignificance when you think that 88% of primary teachers are women. That’s a whopping gap, much, much bigger than the gap between male and female senior managers. Including the leadership statistic does nothing aside from create the impression that “oh, it’s ok that we don’t have many male teachers, because women still aren’t occupying the management positions.”

I wonder why that is, I bet it’s not because women are scared of taking management positions due to possible allegations of abuse, paedophilia and molestation.

I’ve worked in 4 secondary schools and one Further Education college. 4 of those 5 schools had a female headteacher and at least 1 other female member of the Senior Leader Team (SLT) if not more. Only one had a male headteacher. I’ve worked in 5 English departments. Of those 5, only 1 had more men than women, and that’s the one I’m currently in. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be allowed to teach, and I’m definitely not saying that we should have a quota like those daft fucking feminists are suggesting for getting women into management positions in top companies. I’m simply saying that education is currently a female oriented profession, and yet nobody seems to give a damn about trying to equal out the gender imbalance.

I’m sure some of you have read this entire blog and thought “well, what does it matter if only 12% of primary teachers are men, surely you should be hiring the best people for the job, not trying to even up the imbalance?”

THAT’S EXACTLY IT. Gender quotas do not work, they are not necessary, they only allow you to fill positions with what’s available, not who is best for the job. That’s why I think it’s ludicrous that feminists want 40% of senior managers to be women. If men are choosing not to go into the teaching profession for a multitude of choices, then forcing schools to hit quotas is not going to help anyone. It won’t help those who are rejected jobs based on their gender, it certainly won’t help staff morale, and most of all it’ll fuck over the kids who need the best teachers.

Having said that, male children need male role models. It’s unthinkable that some male children don’t see a male role model until they are 11 years old, if not older. Children need role models of both sexes to develop, they need to be able to relax in male environments and not be punished simply for being boys.

If men are choosing not to go into teaching because it isn’t something they want to do, I don’t see how we can do much to solve that, aside from what is already being done. However if, and I think this is a bigger factor than anybody really wants to acknowledge, men are being driven away from the profession because they are worried about society questioning their motives, or complete witches like Harriet Harman saying she is willing to sacrifice them for the greater good, then we can blame feminism and their demonisation of the male gender.

It is sickening that this societal impression has developed against men, when it has been proven, time and time again, that women are not completely innocent when it comes to molesting young children. Men who molest children should be demonised, they are disgusting human beings. But that is not all men. And that is not all male teachers. If women can molest children and get away with it, while men as a gender are demonised for the actions of a small minority, is it any wonder it’s becoming a thankless task?!

I have worked in some wonderful departments, with some wonderful women who were exceptionally good teachers. But I have also worked with exceptionally good men. Men who are constantly having to face the realisation that it only takes one whisper, and an unsupportive faculty or leadership team, and he is ruined.

Teaching in this country is in a state. Michael Gove is a large part of the problem, but I think it’s fair to say, feminism must shoulder some of the blame too.

 

The three main websites I used (I read many more) to help this blog entry are all linked here:

http://www.beds.ac.uk/news/2013/february/why-are-so-few-prmiary-school-teachers-men

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2234250/1-5-boys-primaries-male-teachers-entire-education-one.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14748273

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