Reposted from NPR Ed:
“Today is the first day of school in New York, and experts suspect that only a sliver of the city’s roughly 1,000 new preschool teachers — hired to meet the demands of this expansion — are men. Nationally, barely 2 percent of early education teachers are men, according to 2012 labor statistics. While numbers aren’t yet available for these latest hires in New York, education researchers in the city expect the gender breakdown to be similar.
“We have so very, very, very, very few men,” says Sherry Cleary, executive director of the Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at the City University of New York. “The sad part of it is that young children love to be around men. They love guys, they love their strength. They love that they’re fun and they feel safe and trust them.”
Men can play an important role in the development of young children. And experts say male teachers are particularly important role models for boys who grow up without father figures. Experts hope New York City’s unprecedented pre-K expansion will lead more men to consider teaching small children, in spite of the field’s generally low pay and its image as a traditionally female pursuit. In addition to those obstacles, men in early education (or considering it) often run into parent anxiety about their presence in the classroom.”