A Shortage of Male Teachers in Eastern Carolina's Elementary Schools

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

There's a growing issue in the education system nationwide, a huge lack of male teachers in the classroom. Some national statistics show the number has hit a 40 year low. The situation in Eastern Carolina isn't any different.

According to the most recent statistics by the North Carolina State Board of Education in 2007 there were about 49,500 elementary teachers in our state, males only made up around 10% of that number.

Students we spoke to at John Cotton Tayloe in Beaufort County say they'd like to see more males in the classroom like 3rd grade teacher Jamie Bradsher.

Right now Bradsher is the only male elementary teacher at Tayloe other then the gym teacher but Tayloe's principal says Bradsher is an important male role model to have in the classroom, his students test extremely well, are competitive academically, and well-behaved.

Those are exactly some of the reasons Principal Charles Clark of Northeast Elementary searches out male candidates at job fairs. Out of 25 elementary teachers at his school, two of them are male and he's definitely got some advice for men trying to jump into the profession.

"I'm looking for them to be enthusiastic, number 1, have a care for children number 2, and set that positive male role model for our children."

Justin Robenson and Andrew Mcfarlane, two elementary school teachers at Falkland Elementary in Pitt County are getting high marks from their administration as well. Robenson thinks the male teaching shortage starts directly in the classroom.

"When you're growing up looking for a male to role model your life after, if there aren't many male teachers, boys aren't going to be like I want to be a male teacher."

That's why the two say they work extra hard to show kids they can be whatever they want.

Mcfarlane says, "The stereotype of a male in our society is to be very stern, non emotional, body language a certain way. When these kids see us breaking those stereotypes, we're passionate, we're emotional, might not see it in other parts of their life, I think that impacts them greatly."

All three local male teachers we spoke to say their students go an extra mile for them because they are so rare, students want to impress them, they see it everyday.

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