Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Teacher Conrad Treweek by Mike Prochaska

Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Teacher Conrad Treweek

Conrad Treweek works with kids ages 2 to 5, and is currently teaching English to students in Spain at a primary school. He shared some thoughts about working in the Early Childhood Education field.

Q. How did you get into this field?

“I originally studied marketing at university and once I got into the workforce I realized that sitting behind a desk all day didn't suit my personality. I was lucky enough to realize this early and re-train.”

Q. What do you see as the advantages of having male teachers?

“I think male teachers help provide more of a balance in a female-orientated role. It also teaches children they can be whatever they want to be. Males also have a different approach to teaching such as attitudes towards risk taking.”

Q. What is your favorite memory working with kids?

“I can't think of a particular moment or event but it is always satisfying when you see the 'light bulb' moment when a child had been struggling to figure something out and they finally figure it out themselves. Children are like sponges and have such an eagerness to learn new things.”

Q. Did you hear about the man who go fired for just being a male? How do you feel about that?

“I didn't hear about that, but it upsets and surprises me. I have been lucky to have such a supportive manager who can see the benefits of having a male teacher.”

Q. What is your favorite book to read to the classroom?

“I don't think I have a favorite, but nothing seems to beat the old classics such as 'Hairy Maclary,' Dr. Seuss and 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” 

Q. Why is play important for children? 

“Children learn through play, so it is the most important thing we can encourage as teachers and educators. I think there is sometimes too much focus on structure such as mat times, etc. I think we should encourage children to join in these if they show interest. I think that children shouldn't start school at 5 as a lot of them aren't ready and are forced to ‘grow up’ rather than enjoying being children and learning through play.”

Q. Anything inspiring to tell someone thinking of going into this field? 

“My experience as a male ECE teacher has been a positive one, so I say if it's something you think you'd be interest in then go for it!”

Q. Anything else you want to tell us about working with young children? 

“Society’s views about males working in ECE is changing, which is good. I wasn't sure how my friends and family would feel about my career change but they have been super supportive. I think when working with children you need to think of everything you do as a learning opportunity for the children.”

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