June 26, 2007

Graduation season

A reader reflects upon his child's elementary school graduation ceremony:


And the hall was awash with estrogen. **Every one** of the 6 class teachers was female. (Though one was joined at the lectern by a "class assistant"--male, but plainly as gay as a bag of macadamia nuts.) Two of them cried while delivering the encomium to their class. One boasted that there was no horrid competition in her class, only cooperation. Another that she had helped her kids "express themselves ... manage their feelings."

I longed for one of the gruff old bullies who managed my own education to show up and tell the hall how he had kept the class in line with threats, contempt, & a heavy ruler across the palm as necessary, how he'd driven the best kids to excel far above the others, to declare that most of his class were slackers and no-hopers, but that he had done what he could, against formidable odds, to increase the probability that none of us would come upon the town, or be hanged.

If such a one HAD shown up, someone would have called the police.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking as one who has taught in the Public Education System, the feminization of Education is no joke.

Teachers, educators (that's Admin folks like Principals and Board Members and senior staffers) and the like are fairly idealistic. But they are also extremely risk averse. As such feminine values of extreme risk aversion tend to rule. It's made worse by the fear of sexual harassment.

Ironically the school where I taught had one Journalism teacher (not rehired btw) who ended up living with her ex-student after he graduated from the HS. The Drama Teacher was flamingly gay. [Which no doubt accounts for the acting disparity, more talented women than men, due to flamingly gay HS drama teachers turning boys off and acting as a bottleneck.]

Gayness is viewed as low-risk, because the gay teachers won't harass the girls and the boys can look out for themselves.

There's also the network effect of women and gays being concentrated in education. It makes entry by straight males almost impossible unless they are favored minorities. The one exception is of course coaching, where men are expected to mold young boys into semi-civilized beings.

Peewee said...

Are you advocating literal corporal punishment? I got enough of that from my parents, relatives, and "friends"; I certainly didn't need it from my teachers too. In my opinion, this school is doing everything right.

chrysoperil said...

JDerb on the estrogen ecology:

Sitting round in the horseshoe like that, I got a closer look at my fellow participants. The women were, of course, the most enthusiastic. The whole affair, in fact, was running on estrogen. The general atmosphere was that peculiar mix of insistent niceness and angry menace that women are so good at. _We are frail, sweet, and sorely oppressed, and you had better be nice to us... OTHERWISE WE WILL SMASH YOU TO PIECES_.... The idea that excellence could be quantified was greeted with unanimous scorn and laughter. A person foolish enough to let slip the word "objectivity" was quickly hooted down by the others. There is no such thing as objectivity! I made a quiet, uncollectable bet with myself that I was the only person in the room with a degree in anything more mathematically rigorous than sociology.

http://www.nationalreview.com/derbyshire/derbyshire200502221454.asp

Thursday said...

Elementary schools have long been female dominated, but men are increasingly fleeing the high schools as well. Here in Ontario approximately 2/3 of new high school teachers are female.

Reasons:
1. Political Correctness - Schools just aren't as fun a place for men to be, what with those unfortunate tendencies towards logical, empirical thinking. (Though, in your own classroom you can still pretty much do whatever you want.) Plus, getting through teacher's college increasingly means running the gauntlet through a bunch of harpies.
2. Better money elsewhere - Teaching is not a top money maker, even in Canada, where teachers are relatively well paid. We live in properous times and there are lots of opportunities elsewhere.

So, there is definitely a push pull going on in the profession. I suspect that men will eventually be almost completely cleansed from the teaching profession, even at the high school level, as women reach a critical mass there too.

Interesting side facts:
1. Internet dating sites are clogged with female teachers.
2. University Education Faculties have a wildly disproportionate number of lesbians. (I tended to get along with them on a personal level, but they were all very PC.)

Anonymous said...

Where are the men in education? The same place they always are, if they are good at science and math - making a starting pay of $60,000/yr in business, rather than $30,000/yr teaching. Unlike women with young children, most men don't care about the extensive time off which a career in education provides.

I know what your reader means, but he may also be casting a rosy glow on past memories. My husband attended English boarding schools for his entire education, but then came to the States to attend college. Those schools kept out female teachers, partly through the job requirement: "must be able to teach boy's games". He says that he developed a hatred of math (or maths, as Brits call it)through the constant derision of math teachers, who paraded the best, scorned the rest, sat students according to class rank, called out test grades, etc. There were obviously lots of good aspects of his education, as well, but he says that he never learned math properly, until he took college courses in the US.

I work with low academic achievers and I see for myself how encouragement and positive comments spur them on. That said, I would love more men in elementary schools, because I am convinced that boys are hurt by the lack of male presence. The few men in elementary education either leave, or enter a fast track to principal and reasonably big bucks.

Anonymous said...

Beginning in 1946, public education was infused with a wave of WWII vets as teachers and administrators. In the early seventies, they started retiring, and by the end of the decade they were 85 percent gone.

I'm guessing 1975 was the tipping point year, where things started going south in a hurry.

Peter said...

In one sense the reader's report is a case of nothing new. Elementary school teaching has been an overwhelmingly female occupation for just about as long as there have been public schools.* There would be occasional male teachers in the upper grades in school systems where the elementary schools went up to 8th grade, but by now most 6th through 8th graders go to junior high or middle school.

What does seem new is the way that two of the six teachers cried during the graduation ceremony. I was thinking back to the women teachers in my elementary school - which wasn't all that long ago, we're about the same age - and the idea of any of them crying is, well, just about unthinkable. In some ways things really have changed, and not for the better.

* = what with the nationwide mania about child molestation, elementary school teaching seems like a very risky job for a man. Too much danger of false accusations.

MensaRefugee said...

Blacks 13% of pop causing 66% of violent crime. Hispanics pouring in at the border. Education in tatters due to PCness and women with more hormones than brains at the helm (ditto the vote). A confiscatory tax rate and nonrepresentative government...

Its a wonder that anything works anymore.

MensaRefugee said...

Oh...and lets not forget the college population ratio - 42% male to 58% female. Though many of the majors that arent filled with fluff - notably engineering - are still majority male.

Scary.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think there is a good chance that there is something at least a tad "off" with any male who would *want* to spend 40 hours a week with a bunch of little kids that he is not related to.

Josh said...

itaodzaEnglish boarding schools? Sadistic headmahstuhs? Rather a bit much,eh wot? Not ALL the queens are femme,some are quite butch,I dare say,nudge nudge,wink wink! Maybe old fashioned teachers can make a comeback if the parents WANT it,and I would bet the fathers do more than the mothers. father knows best--but bow to moms hysterical submissiveness to feminism. As for female teachers,living in the post-feminazi world,they seem to be failing to educate BOYS,given the huge change in college demographcs. We may be entering the age of virulent anti-male bigotry,with very negative results. Look at the scum at Duke Univ. I'd like to see a series of massive class acxtion law suits brought against schools where the boys are screwed over...money talks,feminazi bullpoop walks.

Anonymous said...

Let's not get too carried away here. By most accounts, kids learn what they should in elementary school. It's in middle school and high school where things start to fall apart. Demanding cut-throat competition in elementary school is a little silly. Do we need to ridicule the future plumbers and craftsmen of the world at 7 years old? As for all those genius men in the "rigorous" fields: there is nothing more pathetic than some bitter mid-level engineer complaining that people like him are the real geniuses and that everybody better sit up and realize it. Technology is great, but leadership, politics and human interaction have always been important too. Many of those that would have been engineers and or scientists in past generations have already moved into finance and other high paying jobs. Many of the remaining American engineers (new generation) are either blue collar and kept out by class separation or don't have the social or technical skills to hack it in the more prestigious jobs. The rest of the engineers are foreigners. Emotion has always been stronger than reason, and probably always will be. Get used to it.

JR

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! Elementary school graduate ceremony? How gay (elementary school meaning) is that?

Taylor said...

from my Memoirs of being a Wee Lass in the 70s - An Account of Male Teachers, Bad, Mediocre and Good

Only one of my male teachers in jr high was any good. He prepped us for taking notes in high school by playing recordings of his lectures. He told us we'd either learn to take notes or we'd fail. Then he went to the teachers lounge, leaving us alone with the tape recorder. It was the quietest class I had in jr high.

My other male teachers ran the gamut from inept to dangerous. One paced back and forth between his desk and the chalkboard ranting about how he was reincarnated from a daisy and how we lost Viet Nam because the Asians were our superiors. The other was very handsome but had had one of his legs mangled in a car wreck. He passed the class alternating between risque jokes and monologues about being left by his girlfriend, then he'd flirt outrageously with the girl who came in to take the attendance sheet. He wasn't the worst English teacher in the world but the emotional baggage was a bit over the top.

My first male teacher in high school was a coach who pretended to be a history teacher. We socialized for two weeks, Thursday of the second week, he'd give us the answers to a multiple choice test, by letter only. Friday there'd be a test. I guess he didn't want to tax us with the names and dates that were listed beside the letters - the actual answers to the questions. This went on every two weeks until the course ended. I don't even remember what history I was supposed to have taken that year.

Otherwise, there were some non-descript males who were math and science teachers. You either got it or you didn't so I flubbled through dutifully thinking I'd learn something. My favorites were my government teacher in 11th grade and that 8th history teacher with the tape recorder. As for the rest, I would've done just as well, if not better, alone with the textbook.

Mark said...

...teaching seems like a very risky job for a man. Too much danger of false accusations.

Honestly, I think there is a good chance that there is something at least a tad "off" with any male who would *want* to spend 40 hours a week with a bunch of little kids that he is not related to.

I've often thought I might go into teaching after my own kids are raised and I've spent a career in a real job making real money. I see nothing wrong with men as teachers. Teaching high school would allow me to use my engineering experience and would be a better fit for my personality; but dollar for dollar the best, most enjoyable years of school for me were 1st and 2nd grade. In another life, I think teaching kids that age would be a lot of fun.

Excessively hormonal women dominating our school system is one part of our modern problem. The other part is that real men (as opposed to the effeminite/weird kind) are seen as having no proper role instructing young children.

KingM said...

>>Honestly, I think there is a good chance that there is something at least a tad "off" with any male who would *want* to spend 40 hours a week with a bunch of little kids that he is not related to.

I had some great male elementary teachers, so I disagree with this. Nothing creepy about any of them. (Well, there were a coupole of weirdos in junior high, but that's a different story).

Anonymous said...

I have a good friend who is an elementary school teacher and there is nothing "off" about him, nor is he homosexual. He just loves kids and enjoys working with them (and they love having a kindly male teacher, who is also athletic and runs around the playground with them).

Sideways said...

I love the fact that as I read this page, on the side there is an ad for McCain. Brilliant use of campaign funds, guys.

Anonymous said...

It's not normal for a man to enjoy spending time with little kids. It doesn't necessarily make you a homosexual, but it is un-masculine.

Charlotte said...

uh, I hate to intrude on this little sausage party (excuse my French, I've been hanging out with guys too much), but men are "hormonal" also. In case you have missed several thousand years of earth history, testosterone (or whatever other hormones are high in men) has played a part of which most men appear to be quite proud.
What you are trying to say is, we need more male hormones in teaching.
Actually, I agree. There are some men who are good with little kids just as there are some women good with, oh, plumbing. I do think male teachers are needed for older boys. But by and large, teaching small children has been something men teachers have scorned. In ancient Rome, one unfortunate was held to have fallen so low he was "teaching children." "Dame schools" were common in colonial times, and I read that in old Persia(!), old ladies who knew how to read would host little schools for neighborhood kids.
Anyway, i'm not so sure it was always so great when teachers were mostly male. As outlined in biographies, the early school days of Franz Kafka, as one example, Winston Churchill another, were truly nightmarish. Only the strong survived and I suspect many of them became Stormtroopers. There needs to be a balance.

Riot Nrrd said...

One is reminded of the Britishism, "Queer as a scoutmaster".

Anonymous said...

"Beginning in 1946, public education was infused with a wave of WWII vets as teachers and administrators."

There was another wave during the Vietnam war era, as teachers had an exemption from the draft. Men who started teaching in that era are now retiring in droves.

Anonymous said...

If such a one HAD shown up, someone would have called the police.

Yesterday on the NPR program 'Fresh Air', two male, past middle age, milquetoast-sounding teachers from the Philadelphia area who'd been assaulted (and badly injured) in school were interviewed. Somewhat surprisingly, the subject of race did come up, and the obvious was openly admitted: the teachers were white and the kids who beat them up were black (although I, and probably most listeners, had assumed that from the beginning). When asked directly if they thought race was a factor, one insisted (dutifully I guess) that it definitely wasn't. One of the teachers said that because of the age difference, it was as if the kids had hit their grandfathers, at which point I thought 'With one difference: their grandfathers aren't white'.

eh

Anonymous said...

you're all a bunch of nuts here... who the hell cares what the gender is....

laugh...

as long as the kids are learning...

I just sat thru 2 graduations... painful!!!!!!!!

but I have to say the girls are far outwitting the boys as far as scholerships are concerned... it's really scary... I mean, I'm talking about 2 or 3 boys and 19 girls...

what the hell are the boys doing....

not learning that's for sure...

maybe you men should stop worrying about women teaching and start trying to helping your sons for god's sake...

it's embarrassing!!!

Anonymous said...

honestly MARK...

your a wacko... and I wonder about you... do you have inclinations toward perversion or something...

I mean really...

god, you have kids, yet you think a male teacher is a 'fag' or a potential jail bate abuser...

you are sick...

forget about it... and you're an engineer...

aren't they intelligent?????

you're a sick conservative... you are... god help you...

you sick fuck!!!!

get a clue...

just b/c a male is a teacher, it isn't setting him up for rape charges...

you have one sick mind bud...

go sink your sick head in a hole...

arsehole...

k

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly mad at this man Mark, it's not funny...

He not only reeks of ignorance, he reeks of character...

to even insinuate that a man is a child molester for being a teacher is so incredibly insane and childish...

I'm gasping for air, from my anger....

I may be a tad liberal, but I'll tell you now... I've lost total respect for this blog....

how dare you post such insanity...

I can't tell you how inspired I've been over the years by male teachers...

what, they're not real men because they teach...

sick!!!!


really sick!!!!


mark, go drown yourself...please......

I feel sorry for your wife and kids... I do...

men like you, make me want to stay single for life...

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit ambivalent about this letter. I'm a dad and I don't want to be overly rough on boys, but I recognize that they need discipline and structure more than girls do.

Sometimes I think Steve is reading my mind, because he constantly posts on matters that I am thinking about myself. To me, boys need both a tender and a firm hand.

Girls are emotionally tougher, but boys are obviously more physically oriented. Someone said that it is "off" (read queer) for men to be concerned about boys, but I think this is one of our biggest problems now -- we hand our boys over to queers. This is a really bad idea.

I'd really like to work with boys someday, but I'm not sure I'll ever have the time or be able to afford such a job. Also, there's no way I'd ever get hired as a teacher -- I live in Seattle and the schools do not value guys like me. It is true, the types who work in our public schools probably would try to get me arrested.

So I guess I'll only be spending time with my own kids, although according to one poster there is something weird about men liking children. Honestly, I resent that. I love my kids, and so do the other men in my family.

My grandpa, a B-17 belly-gunner in WWII, college wrestler and retired engineer, loves nothing more than to spend time with his little great-grandkids. Is he some kind of a homo for that? Say that to his face and even at 85 he'd probably have some choice words for you.

James Kabala said...

Person who did the last four anonymouses: Mark said he was considering teaching when he becomes older himself. It was one of your fellow anonymouses, whom Mark quoted but disagreed with, that said hanging out with litle kids was unmasculine. Calm down.

MensaRefugee said...

Repealing teacher certification would solve a large chunk of this problem.

Retired Engineers, college grads from the hard sciences who dont want to join the labour market yet, etc etc could become teachers for a term, or a year. If one thinks (and Im not sure I agree) that a male who takes up teaching as a career is queer or effiminate - it certainly wont apply anyway to engineers 'passing through'.

And this would put pressure on the incumbent teachers to shape up.

So, I guess it wont happen short of war and revolution.

Anonymous said...

"but I have to say the girls are far outwitting the boys as far as scholerships are concerned... it's really scary... I mean, I'm talking about 2 or 3 boys and 19 girls...

what the hell are the boys doing....

not learning that's for sure...

maybe you men should stop worrying about women teaching and start trying to helping your sons for god's sake..."

Now, perhaps we believe that boys beginning to fail and schools becoming an all-female-teacher environment are somehow related?

TomV said...

Anonymous 6/26/2007 8:08 PM, 6/26/2007 8:28 PM,

Mark did not write the comments that you found so objectionable. Peter and another Anonymous did. Mark was in fact disagreeing with them.

Boy, Anonymous, I sure hope you're not a teacher. Your comments are not only careless and wrong, but also disturbing and vulgar.

(Read Peter's comment again, too. He's sympathizing with male teachers, not disparaging them.)

Mark said...

Best not to pay attention to the trolls.

Retired Engineers, college grads from the hard sciences who dont want to join the labour market yet, etc etc could become teachers for a term, or a year. - mensarefugee

The problem with that idea is that "even" in teaching (not to disparage the profession), experience matters. Teachers get better with time. However, allowing people to take "temporary" jobs as teachers may serve as an incentive to draw good teachers - and only good teachers - into the profession. Since a person will no longer have to devote years of schooling to becoming a teacher, those who don't enjoy it or don't do well won't be stuck in a job they're no good at. Principals also won't feel too bad about canning a person who clearly has other options available to him.

If I stink at teaching I can always go back to being an engineer. Someone with a degree in Secondary Ed doesn't have that choice. If states really want to increase the pool of teaching talent, maybe they should provide more scholarships to non-Ed majors who get teaching certificates. Though something tells me that the NEA would find some bizarre reason to oppose that.

Anonymous said...

Get your kids into a scout troop or something.

I had a couple of great male teachers in high school. One was an MIT grad who taught calculus at our middle-market high school because he loved doing it. He was amazing. Another was an English teacher who loved English and musicals. He was married with children and didn't seem effeminate at all, so, unsurprisingly, we didn't associate literature and musicals with being gay. Our drama department was run by a gaggle of aromatherapy-type females and we did associate it with being gay.

I bet that there are differences in male-female learning styles and that male teachers are necessary for this reason. But looking back, I think the big difference was just that these teachers were men. I think boys are probably hardwired to want to be "men", not just adults, so when they see men they can respect who are teaching them it makes the subjects more palatable.

Dave said...

This idea that men are either somehow queer or losers to be teachers ignores a few perks of teaching.

1) Tenure. Not too many jobs in the private sector offer the perk of it being virtually impossible to get fired.

2) Lifestyle. Most teachers don't have bad commutes, they don't have to worry about getting their jobs outsourced to India, and they only work half the year.

3) Money. Better than you might think, in high-end suburban districts. Many teachers in counties such as Bergen in NJ and Westchester in NY top out over $100k (not bad for working half a year). Also, most teachers get a pretty generous defined benefit pension plan (in addition to their defined contribution, 403(b)s). Also, if you work in a fancy town and can't afford to live there, you will most likely still get one of the chief benefits of living in that town: being able to send your own kids to the school where you work.

Altogether, not a bad gig. If you aren't in a job where you can make real money (i.e., $250k+ for a married couple in a high cost metro area) and sock it away, you are better off as a suburban teacher or cop than in most private sector jobs with similar or even slightly higher pay.

Also, for those who haven't seen it, the movie The Tao of Steve offers an interesting counterpoint to the status versus dating discussion here, as it's about an overweight kindergarten teacher who has no trouble with the ladies. A conventional turn toward the end doesn't mar an interesting concept in the beginning.

Taylor said...

Hyperbole aside, there are undercurrents in our society that make it dangerous for a man to work with children.

I have spoken with men who teach at the high school level. The threat of being accused of sexual abuse is very real these days and not from girls as much as delinquent teenage boys seeking to get revenge. These allegations get investigated no matter what the source.

It's a legacy from the 90s hysteria about ritualized sexual abuse of preschoolers and "recovered" memories of father-daughter incest. Of course, the current trend for 20 something female teachers to seduce male students of all ages may ease some of the pressure on male teachers to be circumspect in everything they do and say.

Anonymous said...

Dave -- those are good points, but the Tao of Steve is a fantasy, not reality.

Male teachers have very little status, one thing that was interesting to see was how few were married or even fairly successful dating, compared to the women.

The women teachers generally dated men who had significantly greater status than they did, i.e. reporters, radio producers, various movie people. When of course they weren't dating their ex-students. There was no dating among teachers, even though there were a number of male teachers among the gaggle of single women. However, Coaches were the exception to that rule, younger single male Coaches seemed to do well dating-wise. Probably due to status.

Tao of Steve? Great film but total fantasy.

Of course most teachers taught Summer School or worked part time. So income might have been a bit higher.

Mark said...

The women teachers generally dated men who had significantly greater status than they did, i.e. reporters, radio producers, various movie people.

I think it was the book "The Millionaire Next Door" that said that the most common profession of a millionaire spouse is teacher. That may be only because it's the most common profession women belong to. The data in that book seemd somewhat...half-assed, to say the least.

But it takes both good social skills smarts to be a good teacher, so women who are good teachers make good catches.

Tecahing - except for mostly coaching - doesn't generally allow for displaying the kind of attributes, like competitiveness, that women (whether they'll admit it or not) admire in men. And it certainly doesn't allow for the kind of income that women admire, either.

Most teachers don't have bad commutes, they don't have to worry about getting their jobs outsourced to India, and they only work half the year.

No, but they do have to worry about insourcing - bringing the third worlders here. My state just agreed to hire 50 teachers from Mexico...to teach kids who should be sitting in Mexico schools to begin with. And of course it helps to keep the wages down.

Steve Sailer said...

Teachers and nurses sound like good bets as wives. Also, they tend to have stable, often union jobs with good benefits. If the husband is going to try some high risk-high reward job where he could get laid off and lose his health insurance, the wife can balance this out with a steady job like teacher or nurse.

Anonymous said...

Steve sez:

"Teachers and nurses sound like good bets as wives. Also, they tend to have stable, often union jobs with good benefits. If the husband is going to try some high risk-high reward job where he could get laid off and lose his health insurance, the wife can balance this out with a steady job like teacher or nurse."

But, to quote the old song, where can I find a woman like that?

Most 20-something females I see are trying to be executives in the daytime and "Sex and the City" whores at night. They're liberated, and if they wanted to take care of a child, they would've had one, not married one...etc., etc., etc.

This is why Asian women look increasingly good. Many are female.