Male mentors: why are there so few male elementary teachers

Cazen Cowfer, Staff Writer

Teaching is a hard job. Period.

However teaching elementary school kids is even harder. Some people are just born with the talent to handle kids and to be patient with them. But have you ever thought about why there aren’t as many male teachers in elementary school?

According to a recent article published by ABC News, there is a shortage of male elementary teachers nationwide. In fact, the most recent data shows that only 2 percent of kindergarten and pre-school teachers are male.

At Myers Elementary School, there are three kindergarten teachers; Mr. Pete Harry, Mr. Dave Plummer, and Mr. Matt Germino.

Mr. Matt Germino said his desire to teach young children came easy. His parents were educators, with his mom teaching at Tyrone, and his dad coaching umpire youth sport.

“Teaching is definitely not hard for me. I grew up in a house full of teachers, so it came naturally to me,” said Mr. Plummer.

“Perhaps, maybe schools don’t have enough male teachers. When there is a male teacher, they also teach secondary,” said Mr. Plummer.

Mr. Harry said that anyone, male or female, has to have something special to teach little kids.

“Any teacher has to have a lot of patience to teach five year-olds,” said Mr. Harry.

Teaching elementary kids is a job that is done very well by women, but children need male role models; especially young boys.”

— Mr. Harry

Mr. Harry said he feels that male teachers fulfill an important role in an elementary faculty.

“Teaching elementary kids is a job that is done very well done by women, but children need male role models; especially young boys,” said Mr. Harry.



“I think there has long been a stereotype that only females teach at the early childhood/elementary level. I think that stereotype is part of the reason that more men focus on upper elementary, middle school, or high school positions,” said Mr. Germino.

According to Mr. Germino, male elementary teachers are seen in a different light. They are looked upon differently since they are so rare.

“Here at Bellwood it is so common to see male teachers in the elementary school that I don’t feel we face any particular stereotype within this community. Nationally, however, I do believe it can be different. We can be seen in an uncertain light because the majority of our current parents never experienced having a male teacher until they were older. Males tend to be seen as more strict, and so I feel that makes parents uncertain of what their child’s experience may be like, especially in the primary grades,” said Mr. Germino.

Boys are a challenge, and having a male teacher really helps them calm down and listen to their teacher. With great teachers like those at B-A, kids at Bellwood will surely get a good education.