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Men Are an Essential Part of Our Field's Future

by Calvin E. Moore, Jr.
November/December 2022
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/men-are-an-essential-part-of-our-fields-future/5026882/

The early childhood education field tends to be no man’s land. Nationwide, a meager 2.2 percent of ECE and kindergarten teachers are men, and 44 percent of them leave the field within five years (Men Teach, 2019; Will, 2018). Roadblocks to men teaching young children include rigid ideas about gender roles, perceptions of ECE as a low-prestige job, lack of benefits and a living wage, and the suspicions of families and colleagues who question why men would want to teach young children. In addition, the glass escalator tends to put men on the fast track to advancement when they enter predominantly female fields. So, men in ECE often move up into administration, though they leave their hearts in the classroom and remain teachers at their core (Shpancer, 2019). 

Identity and Isolation

The pressures that push men out of ECE also include a feeling of isolation. Just ask Chad Nunamaker, an educator in Ohio.

“When I look back on my career,” he says, “I realize that it has been rare for me to work with other men, because there are so few of them in the field”  (Nunamaker, 2020). 

I know exactly how Chad feels, as a former teacher who still values ...

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