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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  • by John Location: Washington on Mar 18, 2009 at 04:53 PM
    Mr. Bradsher is a wonderful teacher. Let's hope that Beaufort County can hold on to a teacher of his caliber. Any parent that is lucky enough to have a child in his class is fortunate. Not only does he teach the curriculum. He also stresses respect and manners in his classroom. What a wonderful example for a child to look up to.
  • by Star Struck Location: Washington on Mar 17, 2009 at 07:52 PM
    Mr. Bradsher is an excellent of example of what a teacher should be in every aspect, regardless of sex. His leadership in the classroom and at JCT should be a model for all teachers to follow.
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Beaufort County on Mar 17, 2009 at 05:22 PM
    We need a school superintendent in Beaufort County and I believe this young principal would be a good place to start. I believe he is a local boy also so that makes it even better.
  • by robert Location: newport on Mar 17, 2009 at 05:13 PM
    I was a high school teacher for 4 years. Never again. I had too many Alpha female type students in my classes..
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Mar 17, 2009 at 04:19 PM
    I did not live in NC when the "education lottery" was voted. The word "education" tells me that the lottery is to be used for education only. Is that right? When was the last time there was an independant audit completed? Are we sure the lottery is being used for education or are funds being tranfered to the general fund. I think there has be 88 million transfered from the education fund to the general fund. They just stole 88 million from your kids. Put the 88 million back into the education fund and you will be able to hire male teachers (by the way, why should the male need more pay than the female)?
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on Mar 17, 2009 at 03:37 PM
    I would like to give a shout out to Principal Charles Clark of Northeast Elementary ..... He is the Man!
  • by Teacher Location: NC on Mar 17, 2009 at 03:22 PM
    Teachers salary is why there are fewer males. It is not enough to support a family.
  • by Hey there Location: NC on Mar 17, 2009 at 02:10 PM
    Bev Perdue decided to increase K-20 spending despite the budget deficit, Teacher's Wife. I wouldn't say she's against teachers/education. The state has to do what the budget calls for.
  • by Teacher's Wife Location: Pitt Co on Mar 17, 2009 at 02:04 PM
    There's a shortage of teachers everywhere in NC- male & female alike, so tell me why there's a threat of hard-working teachers losing their jobs? Thanks Bev Perdue! It's really no wonder why teachers can't/ don't stay in NC for very long.

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