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White men won't teach (play on the movie title, White Men Can't Jump).

(49 Posts)
GagaJo Mon 19-Oct-20 10:42:36

An indictement of how low the status (and therefore cultural value) of teachers is in British culture. Seen at times in these forums in the attacks and criticism of teachers.

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 11:29:18

It might be that the men don't want to do teaching for a variety of reasons . They might have the educational abilities etc. but teaching those abilities/ subjects is an entirely different matter. Some are cut out to teach, others aren't----simple as that.

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 11:39:41

Before I left school and having set my mind on becoming a nurse, the headmistress at the time had been adamant that I train to be an editor and told my parents how disappointed she was that the knowledge I had shouldn't be wasted.

Yes, an editors job was a much sought after career at the time and the financial reward beyond anyone's dreams but my determination to follow my choice won through even though I wasn't the best at science.

It's what you want to do and not what others tell you that you should do. If men don't wish to teach then it's their decision and not one to be discussed on why they aren't interested. I don't get it, it's a non argument.

Urmstongran Mon 19-Oct-20 11:51:51

There were always male junior school teachers when I was a kid. We had 4 at our primary school. Mind you it was a 3 form entry school.

Chewbacca Mon 19-Oct-20 11:56:48

There are 2 male teachers at GD's primary school, one of whom happens to be white skinned. Best friend's youngest son, who also happens to be white skinned, is a teacher in a large comprehensive school.

Galaxy Mon 19-Oct-20 11:59:52

Anecdotally we obviously all know male teachers but the issue is that the number of male teachers has fallen to 35%, it's interesting to talk about why this might be happening.

GagaJo Mon 19-Oct-20 12:25:52

EllanVannin, If men don't wish to teach then it's their decision and not one to be discussed on why they aren't interested. I don't get it, it's a non argument.

Really? UK standards of education are VERY low and all aspects of it should be discussed. Things such as:

* Why white working class boys are a particularly underacheiving group.

* Why UK state schools are not allowed to take International GCSE's (high pass grades are MUCH easier to achieve) but UK private schools are (and both are treated equally by universities, thus giving private school students an unfair advantage).

* White men avoiding teaching is just another part of the discussion.

We should not allow our rigid class system and cultural devaluing of eductation to control the poor quality of education state school students receive. Talking about why white men, who are at the top of the social hierarchy, do not want to enter the teaching profession is a part of that discussion.

Ellianne Mon 19-Oct-20 12:57:07

I am all for an equal balance of female and male teachers, so the lack of the latter is worrying. But why are we getting hung up on whether they are white men or not? Being a good, dedicated teacher is what is needed, and if white males feel there are better alternatives it's far better they aren't in the classroom. Anyway, I would be far more concerned the teacher had a good command of English, and if you were to close your eyes and listen I guarantee most of the non white male teachers sound no different at all.

Illte Mon 19-Oct-20 12:58:15

I'm not sure it's a white male issue.

There are more female teachers in every ethnic group.

75 % of the teaching workforce defines as female

GagaJo Mon 19-Oct-20 13:05:47

Good point Illte.

I had a very difficult Y7 class years ago. They were the terrors of the school. I could JUST about control their behaviour but when my teaching assistant (an older, white man) walked in, the little bu**ers would sit down and behave without much effort from him.

The boys in that class were desperate for male role models. The worst offenders weren't even children from one-parent, mum only families.

Children need a balance of the sexes (and also ethnicities). It isn't about being politically correct. It's about meeting their needs.

Fennel Mon 19-Oct-20 13:05:53

Eldest daughter has just started a new job in a state secondary school. It's a high standard school, but she is only one of 40% new teachers. So why did the others leave?
I don't know of the genders of the staff , but she says the workload is horrific. Maybe men have more choice and look elsewhere?

GagaJo Mon 19-Oct-20 13:07:21

It is Fennel. 70 or 80 hour weeks are standard. I work a double shift overseas (teaching AND boarding) and I still work less than a UK teacher.

TerriBull Mon 19-Oct-20 13:26:10

Some boys do feel that there aren't enough male teachers, mine did especially when they were going through senior school, they have both told me they would have preferred male teachers at that period in their life after junior school. There was such a propensity of female teachers at senior school and at times it seemed there was an overall feminised slant to how some classes were conducted, that was a collective opinion not only from them but also their male peers and a consensus among the parents I knew who had male children. There were a handful of female teachers who made no bones about the fact that they would prefer to teach girls when my children were going through earlier years. Adolescent boys can go through a disrespectful mouthy stage, although no doubt they have their female counterparts, physically however the male of the species is prone to present in a more intimidating way, I'm not referring to mine, but I can think of a few hulking 6 footers aged 15 or so back then who could be quite threatening if thwarted. I think it's possible, not in all cases, that the right sort of male teacher might be more effective in dealing with all of that. Even if there are male role models in boys' lives mine certainly had their father present, I still think they need male teachers, more so I imagine if those male role modes are absent.

I have heard some male teachers are wary of being accused of sexual impropriety maybe that puts them off, or simply manhandling a very difficult pupil out of the classroom which can lead to a myriad of problems.

I imagine the ratio of male teachers to female teachers is quite low. In an ideal world we would have an equal balance of male and female teachers irrespective of their skin colour or ethnicity.

Ellianne Mon 19-Oct-20 14:02:24

That's interesting TerriBull and you are verging on saying that boys need to be taught differently, preferably by men.
I fully agree with this, but it doesn't follow that good male teachers will necessarily encourage or inspire their boy pupils to become teachers.
Several of my family, and also my DH, went to Christ's Hospital when it was boys only and were taught by some very erudite masters. None of them went into teaching, they would probably all laugh if I suggested this could have been their chosen career.

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 14:05:58

Is it an excuse for them not being clever enough ?

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 14:07:28

Pupils today are only as good as the teachers who taught them.

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 14:12:41

Teachers, to my mind, were far more clever in the 50's/60's !
Without the need for technology which wasn't around then.

Everything now is at their fingertips.

Why is there a shortage of doctors ? While we're at it.

quizqueen Mon 19-Oct-20 14:19:44

There's loads at my granddaughter's primary school including the Head and she's had 2 white male teachers consecutively. There's even one in the reception class, which has a 45 child intake so it's a double sized classroom with 2 teachers and 2 TAs. They then move into 3 vertically streamed classes of 30 for each school year, so year 1 and 2 together, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6. When I taught in special ed, there were a lot of males there too. It may vary round the country.
Perhaps the starting salary puts them off or the hard work!!!!

Ellianne Mon 19-Oct-20 14:31:33

Not this horrific workload and awful stress discussion again! The males I mentioned earlier consist of a naval officer, a deputy chief constable, a lawyer and a clergyman. Their work is very intense, very long hours, and not highly paid for what they do.
Maybe all this complaining by teachers is actually counter productive and puts the discerning boys off.

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 15:11:48

How many women are bringing up children single-handedly because partners/husbands have scarpered ?
Many men simply can't tolerate children around the place. Lack of education in understanding that they're younger versions of themselves. It's an intolerant society.

Society has changed generally because there doesn't appear to be a facility now for male role models since women's lib.
Thousands of households no longer have a male " head of the household ". Which is why so many children are unstable

Galaxy Mon 19-Oct-20 15:15:30

How does feminism stop male role models?

Ellianne Mon 19-Oct-20 15:34:11

I agree to an extent Ellan but we probably need to look back to the 50s and further to see why teaching was always considered a career/job for women.

paddyanne Mon 19-Oct-20 15:37:47

Thats nonsense EV Many of those single parent families are dads and a lot are better off with one parent than two .I dont know what the stats are for newly qualified teachers in England I do know that nearly 90% who have done a probationary year in Scotland get a full time job at the end of it and that in my GC's schools there are a lot of young men.
Some from mainland Europe teaching primary school classes, one who was in a fairly successful band in the 90s who teaches music .I dont know if the Spanish and Italian teachers will be able to stay after Brexit ..what a loss to the children who love them

Parsley3 Mon 19-Oct-20 15:48:26

I don’t recognise your description of men today, EV. I am sorry if that that has been your personal experience but the men I know have neither scarpered nor been intolerant of children. There are several male teachers in DGs school and I know two men who have retrained as Primary teachers.

Ellianne Mon 19-Oct-20 15:58:11

I think most male teachers would like to eventually see themselves as Heads or Deputy Heads in the future. To be fair they are usually very good in this role.