Male Teachers: Here's the Worst Thing You Can Say to a Male Trainee Early Childhood Teacher by Bill James

Male Teachers: Here's the Worst Thing You Can Say to a Male Trainee Early Childhood Teacher

The very worst observation made by a mentor teacher during my teacher training was uttered by one of the best I had, and was intended as a compliment: "It's so nice to meet a male primary teacher that doesn't have an ego."

When my inspirational mentor saw my puzzled expression, she sought to clarify. "Many male primary teachers I've worked with have been a little, you know .... full of themselves"

At the time I appreciated the praise, but the few years I have spent as a classroom teacher have led me to refute the remark entirely. From the moment you set foot in a classroom, no matter how highly trained you are or how much related experience you bring to the role, there will be some who question your approach. When you do things a little differently due to your training, your gender or even your cultural background, this tendency is sometimes magnified.

While a graduate teacher should be both humble and curious when working with more experienced teachers, the very worst thing they can have is a lack of belief in what they know, and of pride in what they bring to the table. This is of particular importance when they are in a minority in the workplace.

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Mike Prochaska
Yes I agree. I feel like always have to have game face on even when don’t feel good. And I agree always someone who makes u second guess your teaching style. Felt that way being a Sahd and that why I wrote my slide tip.
Mike Prochaska
Another awesome tip bill
Elisa Schmitz
Excellent point, well taken, Bill Ellis . I appreciate all of these insights and unique perspectives you share! Mike Prochaska - your slide tip is legendary, thank you! dad: Parents, Say "Yes" to Kids Climbing Up the Slide: 7 Unexpected Reasons Why
Whirled Peas
I'm really surprised that the author doesn't seem to understand that the commenter is saying that many male teachers come in and start "mansplaining" to the female teachers about how they should do their jobs (and not the other way around). Before long, the man is the principle or HOS with a harem of female teachers to boss around.
Bill James
Some male teachers do, some do not. I'm sorry about your experiences
Whirled Peas, I have had extensive experience working with male teachers in both the early childhood and primary school contexts, and can only praise them for the support that they provide to their colleagues. I believe the author's overarching point is that regardless of a teacher's background, we should be supporting each other in what is already a challenging work environment, rather than casting unnecessary doubts on our colleagues. As for your point about men being promoted, I find your use of the phrase 'harem of female teachers' quite offensive as it suggests a powerlessness in women and promotes a victim mentality amongst women. I've had many opportunities to climb the ladder as a result of hard work and putting forward my ideas, and, while acknowledging there is a glass ceiling for women in many professions, education is a sector in which the majority of employees are female - it is up to us to distinguish ourselves based on merit, and not be disgruntled when members of the opposite sex are promoted above ourselves.

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