TRY IT Tuesday: Increasing the Number of Male Educators

In our last blog entry, we discussed men (or the lack thereof) in the child care field. Only 4.4% of all early childhood professionals are males, yet men represent around half of the population. Research studies have found that children (boys AND girls) benefit from having both male and female educators. Boys in particular have improved academically and socially after being taught by a man. By recruiting more men into the classroom, the early education field will surely provide a more diverse and balanced experience for young children.

Are you ready to TRY IT? There are lots of ways to increase the number of male educators in the system. Fathers: volunteer in your child’s classroom this year and participate in a few school activities (attend parent-teacher conferences, join the PTA). Parents: encourage boys AND girls to become educators. Providers: reach out to fathers/men in the community/grandfathers/etc. to recruit teacher and/or volunteers for your classroom. Anyone: advocate for higher wages for educators while also highlighting the important work that educators do.

*If you are an early childhood professional, you can attend a special workshop on this topic at our annual conference in October. “Making Your Program Boy-friendly, Father-friendly and Family-friendly (& it’s good for girls too)!” will be facilitated by Bryan Nelson from MenTeach. Learn more and register for the conference here.

One thought on “TRY IT Tuesday: Increasing the Number of Male Educators

  1. I have found there are plenty of guys willing to volunteer for the day, at least when their child is involved. However, it’s often tough to convince them that it’s a worthwhile & rewarding career for a ‘bloke’ (Aussie slang thrown in there). I’ve had heaps of guys say to me, “I don’t know how you can put up with them all” or “I have enough trouble looking after my own kids, let alone other people’s” or “I admire you for doing what you do, but I couldn’t do it. Unfortunately there are many who are afraid they will be seen as potential predators, no matter how much you try to placate their fears.

    We need to start with small steps, but as I said in my comments to the other article. I think a more united appraoch is needed. one that doesn’t care about national or international boundaries. One where we combine our efforts & put our heads together to put strategies in place that are effective in encouraging more men locally & globally. This is where national & international organisations such as UNICEF, MenTeach, NAEYC & ECA (Early Childhood Australia) can work collaboratively toward a common goal.

    Governments & tertialry institutions have a role to play to by offering scholarships for males to undertake study in the early childhood field. Afterall. scholarships are often offered to females to help them enter male dominated career paths such as engineering, trades, mathematics & science.

    The conference sounds like a great idea & would love to attend if I were in that part of the world. Some may find the following relevant link of interest:

    A local intiative to encourage fathers into early childhood services.

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