Male Early Childhood Education Teachers: Here's Why We Need to Support Them! by Bill James

The stark reality of the gender imbalance in my chosen field of Early Childhood teaching hit me hard on the first day of my teacher training course, where just three men in a group of 18 was celebrated as an apparent step forward. I was confronted on teaching facilities, too, where most of the staff toilets were strictly out of bounds to me, as you had to walk past the toilets that the children use to get to that toilet. Surely school buildings were not built with the assumption that the teacher would not be male? 

Lastly, while most colleagues are incredibly supportive, there are always a few who subconsciously see Early Childhood as "their" territory, with male teachers being against the norm at best. All things considered, it's high time I put forward a tip or two: 

  • Collegiate groups like the Males in Primary group (for Western Australia public school teachers) are a lifeline. Get involved. 
  • When someone acts surprised at your field of choice, act surprised at their reaction! 
  • NEVER, ever give up. Most male teachers are good people, and our school communities need them just as much as they need good female teachers. Hold your head high.

This video is longer than 30 seconds, but we think it's worth it. 

Photo: M.Gilligan

Donna John
Growing up and when my kids were in school, male teachers seemed to always be the favorite. Thanks so much for reminding us that ya'll need our support ... and welcome to the tribe! Bill Ellis
Mike Prochaska
Yes love this! Thank u bill
Mike Prochaska
Thank you bill for writing this tip and reminding men to not give
Mike Prochaska
Just shared this everywhere welcome to the clan
Elisa Schmitz
Wonderful first tip! I agree with Donna John that my kids always seemed to love their male teachers. Somehow, they brought that fun factor to early childhood education. So glad to be sharing your voice here. Welcome to our #30Seconds tribe, Bill Ellis !
Bill James
Thank you for the welcome, everyone!
Juanita Ferreira
Excellent advice!! Some of your comments echo my experiences when starting my career as a nurse some 25 odd years ago.....I recently showed my graduation photo to my son which had approximately 240 graduates.......only 10 were men!! These numbers are very different today and whilst it is not uncommon to have at least one male nurse per shift, considering there are 8-10 nurses on a shift, the numbers are still not high....but at least the upward trend continues. Some of the most competent and compassionate nurses I have had the privilege to work with have been male. I must try to find a paper I once read that was written by a male can just imagine his journey.....even the name is feminine!! Thank you for sharing and I hope the numbers of male teachers increases across all ages of benefits not only the children but the entire school community.
Bill James
Thank you Juanita. I like the parallel you draw between male nurses and men in EC teaching. I really hope that EC teaching follows the model set by nursing over the past two decades. One in eight is a distant dream at this stage!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Lend a Hand to Single Parents: Why Single Moms & Single Dads Are the Real Parenting MVPs

"When Life Gives You Children": Single Parenting Humor Book Puts a Fun Twist on Navigating Parenthood

Reflections From a Single Dad: Why Single Fathers Need to Get Up Every Day

This Single Dad Pays It Forward Because He Had a Role Model: His Father