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Youngest Students Lack Male Role Models in Classroom

Megan Lynch @MLynchOnAir
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Photo: ADAM JAN/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: ADAM JAN/AFP/Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS  (KMOX) – Raise your hand if most of your kids’ teachers are women.

Yet, educators say the youngest students may be lacking important role models because far fewer men teach.

“Maybe one to three per elementary building, maybe a one to 15 ratio.  As you move up in levels to middle school it becomes maybe one to every four.  High school one to every two,” estimates Joe Shaw, Assistant Principal at John Weldon Elementary in the Francis Howell District.

Psychotherapist and parenting expert Dr. Russell Hyken was once a high school teacher himself and says even at that level he was outnumbered by female colleagues.

“Teaching has stereotypically been more of a woman’s job than a man’s job and I think that’s been perpetuated to some degree, but I’m seeing more males entering the field.”

Hyken tells KMOX it’s most important for elementary age children to have positive influence from male teachers.

Shaw agrees. “With the increase of the divorce rates and having in some cases part-time fathers, I think it’s important for children to see positive male role models at an impressionable age.  See that men are responsible, kind, intelligent.”

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