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4 Things That Give Dudes the Bug to Teach

A man enthusiastically teaches students in front of him.

There are still more female teachers than males in the U.S., but more males are entering the profession in recent years.

So, in a field mostly comprised of women, can guys make good teachers? The answer is 100 percent yes. Although more women than men still seek teaching jobs, the gender distribution among teachers has changed in recent years.

A 2018 study by the University of Pennsylvania Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) show the number of male teachers employed in public schools has  grown by 31 percent in the last few years. As a Teachers College enrollment counselor at Western Governors University (WGU), I’ve also noticed a few trends among those who have the bug to teach, and my male friends and associates. If any of these strike a chord, maybe you should teach too.    

Further Reading: My Inspiration to Be a Teacher

1-Caring for students is an “everyone” thing.

You are capable of caring for and developing students. Some women seem to have this nurturing thing down. But guys can do it too, just differently than how women do it. Being in a place to develop a child or teenager is priceless. It makes the job worth it, and you find yourself coming back for more. Antoine, for example, aspires to be a middle school math teacher—primarily because he wants to help students with life. And he finds that being in the classroom is an ideal place to make that happen.  

2-High School isn’t the only place to use your strengths.

While some guys may gravitate towards subjects like physical education, STEM, or sports, in high schools, they also have great options in elementary schools. One article describes how a male teacher found his niche in the 1st grade. He laughs about it, but he realizes that he was passionate about that age group. Francisco thinks similarly—he finds that helping elementary school kids is where he can make the most difference. He also doesn’t like being responsible for only one subject.   

Thomas, on the other hand, prefers a specific grade and subject. He really wants to teach high school math and nothing else. It’s a subject that he's passionate about and wants to share with students. So, if Math has a special place in your heart, as well as 6th graders, then by golly go for it! There are numerous options for your own preferences when it comes to teaching school.   

3-Nearly every school has coaching and sports.

What are formative years without sports? Even if sports aren’t your cup of tea, homecoming, rivalries and team practices build a school culture that the community rallies around. That’s not a bad thing to be a part of. And there just might be a marching band to get everyone pumped. Also, there are after school events to be involved in. Or PE— dodgeball anyone? You name it, tennis, basketball, water polo, track coaches—they’re all needed, and enable you to impact the lives of youth by teaching and coaching. Win-win.   

4-Every school needs leaders and administrators.

Picture yourself years from now— a wise, knowledgeable, and seasoned teacher. Then you decide you want to become a school principal or another type of school or district administrator. Superintendent roles are not a bad way to increase your influence on students in a much bigger way, and may be an attractive bonus after some time in the classroom. Who knows, maybe with your clout and a little extra funding your school can get the much-needed gym equipment that you've always talked about.  

Further Reading: Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Consider Becoming a Teacher

Can guys really make it in the teaching field? Of course, and they can serve in a variety of roles. There are lots of students who need the positive influence of a male role model. Be it in sports, leadership roles, grade and content specialties—wherever there’s room in the teaching field for a caring teacher, there’s likely a spot for you to have fun while making a positive difference in students’ lives.