Before you start reading this, I thought I would confirm that the title is most definitely a reference to the catchy song by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj & Flo Rida and to anyone who does not know that song, it is just a random title I ‘innovatively’ thought of. Glad we cleared that up.
This was an idea that a fellow blogger asked the other day (thank you Bor Bor Igmus) and it has played on my mind since. “Why aren’t there more men in Primary education?”, and I realised that is a good question, complex but very good.
The numbers of male and female staff generally evens out in Secondary school, which begs the age-old question, why? It seems strange and if you are reading this looking for an answer, unless a minor miracle occurs, there probably won’t be a definitive one. It is widely known knowledge that most boys and girls consider each other to have ‘cooties’ or ‘germs’, so is this the same thing for staff too? From personal experience, there may be some degree of truth in this; I would consider myself fairly well liked by most of the many staff members I have met so far, obviously I get on with some better than others but that is life. One thing that has been apparent in the last few weeks is the relationship between me and the other two graduate TA’s (both female) who were employed at the same time, is different. I get on well with both and definitely consider us friends, but they seem at times to favour each other at times when the 3 of us are together. Is it because they are better friends, or because they are both female? It could be the first option, but maybe they think I have metaphorical cooties?
I think that the Primary school environment does not help to attract men to the workplace, purely because of the high percentages of women that work there. If the proportions of either gender were equalled then I think there may be less resistance to working in Primary education, which I know is a simple trail of thought, but the stigma attached to working with the younger age groups of being ‘mostly females’ could be the very thing putting off men. Personally I could not imagine going into Secondary education! Adolescent teenagers sound like a scary age group to teach, full of hormones and even more loud mouthed kids. I know you can get some pupils in Primary like this, but from my own experiences it is a much lower percentage.
The truth is I am flummoxed by the initial question (which is why I have asked many more questions throughout this post). I can only hypothesise why there are not many men teaching in Primary school, but I do think that if there were then it would only benefit the children. I have been tasked with sometimes looking after the ‘naughtier’ kids, as apparently he responded better to me possibly because I am a man, and whether or not this is true, a higher number of men may help some of the problem children. It may not but it may, and so is it worth trying to alter the stigma of Primary education just incase?