Posted by: grantburgessblog | October 10, 2016

Male Teacher Shortage Affects Communities, Parents

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On October 4th, BBC News published an article about England’s low percentage of male teachers. It cited a serious need for diverse backgrounds in the classroom and positive, male role models for many children who do not have them at home. According to the UK’s Department of Education, only 26 % of teachers are male. In the US, that number is 24%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This article stood out to me because I work in an educational setting and have many friends and colleagues who are teachers.

I shared this article with a friend who is a high school teacher in Portland, a former classmate who is a doctoral candidate in Sociology in Chicago, a former professor, and a friend who is a single mother. The high school teacher and professor were able to relate to the issue (being male teachers themselves), and to refer me to similar articles. For them, print and web articles are perfect. My sociologist friend, being in graduate school, cited theories and reasons for the gender disparity. Jen, the single mother, really resonated with the article’s focus on the need for strong male role models. She gets most of her news via Facebook links.

BBC News did a good job of framing this article in a way that spoke to me and to my network on different levels. The subject was compelling, the statistics confirmed what my educator friends already knew, and the social impact spoke to my sociologist and single mother friends.

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