Only One Quarter of Teachers Are Men

That’s a 40 year low, according to Newsweek. And only 9 percent of elementary school teachers are male. It’s true that children — especially many at-risk kids — benefit from a positive male influence in their lives. I remember how exciting it was the summer before fifth grade to learn my teacher would be a "Mr." that year. But I think the Newsweek story focuses too much on fears of being seen as gay or a pedophile, and too little on how little our culture values teaching, in part because women are the majority of the people doing it:

There are several reasons many men find it difficult to enter, and stay in, the teaching profession: the starting salary for teachers is about $30,000, and less in early education. "Right now I don’t have a wife, I don’t have kids," says Bart Tittle, 24, a preschool teacher in Independence, Mo., who earns about $25,000 a year. "Later in life it’s going to be much more challenging."

And it’s challenging for working women supporting families, too. It’s no coincidence that 75 percent of teachers are female and that the average salary in the profession is $47,602. Even in the wealthiest public school districts with the most highly-educated teachers, salaries tend to top out well beneath six figures. Old thinking about women’s wages — that they are supplemental instead of an integral, and often the only part of a family’s income — is a part of the problem

cross-posted at TAPPED 

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