Need for male elementary teachers growsWritten by Danielle Portteus | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Male college students pursuing degrees in the field of education may want to consider teaching at the elementary level.
Thomas Switzer, dean of the college of education at UT, said he would like to have more men pursue degrees in education, especially at the elementary level.
“There are a multiple opportunities available in early childhood education,” he said. “But many men are pursing teaching at the secondary education level, especially in hard sciences and mathematics.”
Switzer said there has been a decline over the past five to 10 years in the number of males who pursue degrees in education at all levels.
He said there is not any advantage for a male to apply for a teaching position versus a female.
“I don’t know any school district that would hire based solely on gender,” he said.
John Crecelius, executive director of curriculum and instruction at Perrysburg schools, said his district has more female teachers than males.
“We always have a need for male teachers,” he said. “We have more males at the high school level than at the elementary level.”
Perrysburg schools, district wide, have a 71-percent female to 29-percent male ratio, Crecelius said. Elementary wide, 85 percent of teachers are female; at the junior high level, 67 percent are female; and 55 percent are female at the high school level.
Crecelius said there are more females at the elementary level because of the need for nurturing.
“Elementary teachers go into the job because they care for kids,” he said. “It tends to be basically women because they have a natural ability to care for kids.”
He said women tend to have a strong language arts background, and language arts focus on reading at the elementary level. Males are more involved in the math and sciences.
Crecelius said his district would not hire a male specifically because of gender.
“Sex would not matter,” he said. “We hire strong candidates and the only thing that might make a difference is what else they have to offer besides teaching.”
For example, if an elementary school needed someone to coordinate intramurals as well as teach, an applicant who could do both would be more attractive than someone who could not, Crecelius said.
“If there was an opening for an assistant boys basketball coach and there was a strong candidate for both, that would set them apart if the teaching quality is the same,” he said.
Crystal Ellis, chief-of-staff for Toledo Public Schools, said the majority of all teaching positions in the district are held by females.
“Elementary schools are in dire need of male teachers,” he said. “From my experience being a principal, there is a 4-to-1 ratio of females to males in the junior high level and a 3-to-1 ratio in the high schools, but the rate is much higher at the elementary level.”
Ellis said he thinks this is because the majority of males are the heads of households and the salary requirements may not be attractive to male teachers.
“Our beginning salary is in the low $30,000 and other jobs are well above that,” he said. “When college students are ready to graduate, they have to think about paying back loans and so that’s why education is not at the prime level of recruiting for males.”
Ellis said there are more males at the high school level because teachers can specialize in one subject.
“At the elementary level, teachers have to know the whole scale of the curriculum,” he said. “In high school, teachers can teach singular subjects.”