Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Why Boys Need Men Teachers

June 23rd, 2009 by G.

One of the most malign of modern trends is the disappearance of men from the ranks of public school teachers and the decline in the number of woman teachers who wield a ruler. I got a testimony of this recently.

Picture in your mind a car full of sullen and apathetic young men and two listless male leaders, driving on a dark freeway in the open spaces of New Mexico, coming back from a church youth swimming party. Also in the car, the wife of one of the listless male leaders. “How did you like the swimming?” Silence. “It was fine.” Silence. “The water was cold.” More silence.

One of the boys pipes up. “Hey, I want to build a corn maze with no way out.” “And a waterslide,” another boy says. Cool, I think, automatically. We start chattering. The silence is over. By the end of the drive we’ve designed a multi-story facility complete with dumb waiters, zip lines, inflatable walls, laser tag guns, and gymnastics quality trampolines. At the suggestion of the other male leader present, it also includes gimbals, and pistons to raise and lower sections of the floor. “I really liked this swimming party,” one of the boys said, “we should do it again.” The wife looks out the window, pained, determined to be tolerant.

Comments (12)
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June 23rd, 2009 07:25:30
12 comments

John Mansfield
June 23, 2009

So true. As a student, I had two elementary school principals, one jr. high principal, and two high school principals. All men. My children altogether have had four elementary school principals and two middle school principals. All women. Of note also, my principal for second through fifth grade had also been my mother’s principal, and her teacher for fifth and sixth grade. It’s a while since school principals have been their schools principal teachers.


Vader
June 23, 2009

Any woman will tell you that men just don’t understand.

What women fail to see, perhaps because their men are less voluble and articulate complainers, is that women just don’t understand, either.

The difference seems to be that men don’t expect women to understand, while for some reason women do expect men to understand. Thus ariseth the modern feminist meme that men are bums who don’t care.

I’ve yet to meet the man who wasn’t, somewhere in the deep recesses of his immortal soul, a pyromaniac. I’ve yet to meet the woman who was.

[…] Comment at the Junior Ganymede. […]


Tim
June 23, 2009

It’s a shame that there aren’t more men teaching in public schools. I would argue that one of the reasons for it is that it’s getting harder and harder to support a family on just a teacher’s salary, and so many men leave the profession or don’t even consider it in the first place. After a few short years of graduate school, I will be making at least 2 or 3 times as much as I made as a public school teacher. A salary that can support a family.
I’d argue another reason is the lack of respect society in general gives to public school teachers. Change this, and more quality male teachers would bother staying in the profession.
Until this happens, the performance of boys in public schools will not increase, and they will not get the role models they so desperately need.


Agellius
June 23, 2009

I heartily agree. My sons had nothing but female teachers in their diocesan Catholic school from grades 1 through 8. They hated school.

Then we switched them to an independent Catholic school founded by parents, in which no less than half the teachers are men. They are much happier.

I don’t know how the independent school manages to keep so many male teachers. Maybe men don’t mind being teachers, they just don’t like teaching in the public (or diocesan) schools.

There’s probably something about the entire establishment educational system that is inherently anti-man, or at least unmanly, which the parent-run school manages to avoid.


Vader
June 23, 2009

Agellius,

I think C.S. Lewis gives a great deal of insight on this, both in “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” and “The Abolition of Man.” You are probably already familiar with these, but if not, you’re in for a treat.

I can certainly relate to Lewis’ Men without Chests. Though in my case there are many other bits and pieces missing as well.


KLC
June 23, 2009

I think about this alot with two boys in the public school system. When my oldest son was in 6th grade they got a new principal, a man. He had attended that school since kindergarten and until the new principal arrived the only men on that campus for six years were the custodians.

My school district in a large LA suburb has announced 5 new elementary and middle school principals in the last month, all women. My son’s middle school got a new principal last year, a woman.

I thinnk one of the consequences of this skew is that boys are beginning to see school as a girl thing, and thus something they won’t participate in. Over the last several years I’ve noted the valedictorians of the local schools, overwhelmingly female. I’ve noted the published stories about academic achievement awards, mostly female. I’ve gone to my kid’s elementary school good citizenship assemblies, almost all girls. If we accept the fact the intelligence and the ability to succeed in school are not gender specific it appears that school is becoming a place where girls feel comfortable and boys feel estranged.

Where are the champions of diversity when it comes to school personnel?


Agellius
June 23, 2009

KLC writes, “Over the last several years I’ve noted the valedictorians of the local schools, overwhelmingly female.”

This year’s graduating class, at the parent-run school mentioned above, consisted of seven girls and one boy. Guess who was the valedictorian? Nope, it was the boy.

The moral? Dump the public schools, get together with some parents and found your own school. : )


Bookslinger
June 23, 2009

And African-American boys need some African-American men as role models for their teachers and principals. And etc., etc. “Lean on Me” with Morgan Freeman. “Stand and Deliver” with Edward James Olmos.

[…] this summer, this point was politely made by an anecdote over at the splendid Jr. Ganymede blog.  This religious tenet is perhaps nowhere expressed better, though, than in the infamous quote […]


Adam G.
July 28, 2009

Another anecdote:
One of our most ill-behaved boys–he spends most the school year drugged to his gills–was very well-behaved at our campout and really enjoyed himself. The secret was that when he started acting out at the beginning, we hurt him until he cried, and then we did a long session on using axes. He cut through a good sized log by himself with a hatchet.

The scouts are excited about a woodcutting service project for the fall. We’ve promised that if they’re good, we’ll let them fell a couple of trees with axes.


Adam G.
July 28, 2009

Outstanding link (ht to johncwright.livejournal.com):

http://wittingshire.blogspot.com/2005/06/raising-men.html

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