More Male Teachers Needed in St. Louis Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke for

For the past 100 years or so, teachers have traditionally been female. Before that, women could only teach school until they married; it was considered unseemly for women to continue working after marriage. Known as “schoolmasters”, men filled a majority of the teaching positions throughout U.S. schools. The pendulum has definitely swung the other way; of the approximately 2,700 teachers in St. Louis schools, only 600 are men.
Why Don’t More Men Teach?
No one knows for sure why more men don’t choose careers that lead them to St. Louis schools, but there are many suppositions. Some may feel uncomfortable about being around children; the fear of child abuse dramatically increases when people think of a male teacher hugging or otherwise nurturing his students. It’s ridiculous to believe that just because a man has chosen to work with children that he is a pedophile. It’s a disgusting thought, and one which makes the bile rise – that men are discriminated against in this way. Most men who like working with kids (think of all those coaches!), are smart and talented; why shouldn’t they teach if they so desire? It is indeed possible that some men may find themselves shying away from a teaching career in St. Louis schools if they feel that they will be victims of such prejudices.
Where’s the Money?
For some men, salary may be the major deciding factor against going into teaching with St. Louis schools. With the average starting salary for a beginning teacher around $30-35,000, some may opt out of a teaching career. For families where dad is the main breadwinner, raising a family on a St. Louis school teacher’s salary would be difficult. That’s not to say impossible, but difficult. Money makes the world go around, and while it definitely doesn’t buy happiness, it does put a roof over your head and food on the table. The pay scale for teachers working for St. Louis schools doesn’t increase very much; a dramatic pay raise takes years and even decades to happen. There isn’t a lot of room for advancement for the teachers of St. Louis schools, unless they want to go into administration or guidance. The principal’s office is where a lot of the male teachers end up; they are probably attracted by the higher salary as well as a desire to do more with their schools.
Why We Need the Men in St. Louis Schools
We need men teaching in St. Louis schools. The more male teachers we can get into the classrooms, the better. Kids are shown to benefit at all grade levels – from Kindergarten to 12th grade – from having a male teacher in their St. Louis schools. With an increase of single-mother homes, having a male teacher can lend the male influence these kids in St. Louis schools are missing out on.
We need more quality teachers in the classrooms of St. Louis schools; and a lot of them should be men.