Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NPR - Missing Male Teachers

A good report on the absence of male teachers in the classroom from NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Missing Male Teachers

*Note to Mr. Heck: You'd be so proud of me. Remember how you used to always dump my messy desk? I can't say I learned anything from that weekly routine -- you should see my desk now!

I had male teachers in 2nd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and in math, science, TAG, and wood shop in middle school. I had some others in high school, including two English teachers, computer science, and most other phys. ed. or math and science classes.

I guess my experience is unusual.

One in particular left a lasting influence, Mr. Carter, my 4th grade teacher. He saw that three of us were way ahead of the other kids and generally bored, so he got us 5th grade work, then 6th grade (for which he had to drive 15 miles) and so on, until the year was over. He was fired after that year for mentioning in class that it's a crime that his 22 year old son, who worked in a wood mill, made more money than any of the teachers in that small school.

Too bad, he was one of the good ones.

I can't say that my life would have been different if those teachers had been women, but they represented to me the idea that men could be interested in education and learning, and that in itself helped shape my life.

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