I don’t know, I think they’ve succeeded

Winner of “most ambiguous” headline of the year goes to:

failing teachers

Male teachers are essential to a balanced education.  There are critical phases in boys’ lives where strong male role models play a significant role, and you can see different sides of boys blossoming.

The education sector is trying very hard to get more men involved, so much so that during job interviews, male applicants have a natural advantage (all things being equal) simply because schools are hanging out for more male teachers, especially in primary and intermediate schools.

The problem is of course the perception that all men are to be considered suspect for wanting to be near children in the first place.  And can you blame the public?   The constant parade of dodgy teachers that couldn’t act professionally is tainting the profession, and no sane male is going to choose a career where, at best, he’s considered a sex pest in waiting.

We are simply reaping the hysterical fruit of making all men potential sex offenders (until proven innocent).

Pretty sad state of affairs, if you ask me.


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  • Hoju

    After the Peter Ellis case any bloke willing to risk getting within 100 metres of a primary school classroom or kindy deserves a DB.

    • JC

      There was a thread on Kiwiblog about this yesterday discussing another report on Peter Ellis.. a number of people supporting another look at this scandal noted that what happened to Ellis has blighted male teacher recruitment ever since.. I agree.


  • Mark

    “no sane male is going to choose a career where, at best, he’s considered a sex pest in waiting.” I have considered it a number of times,each time I have slapped myself hard.
    “We” have truly reaped what has been sown.

    • mommadog

      This subject was one of the talkback comments on ZB this morning. It was interesting with people calling in – some male teachers and some who had given up on training or teaching because of this. There really is something wrong that has been created by the PC brigade and others. Listening to the callers throughout the show I came away with the feeling that there is a huge disconnect between those saying we need more male teachers and the reality of the prejudice that male teachers/teacher trainees are faced with. Yes – as you say, we have reaped what we sow. I have a male cousin who is a primary school teacher and has been for a number of years now but he is married with his own children and got promoted to headmaster of a small town country school where most families know each other so I don’t think he faced the bias that perhaps comes from other schools.

      • Mark

        Well Cams’ article really nailed it. The thing is I have no issue with my behavior being monitored because of my employment.That has been an aspect in the past & is now. I have proven myself capable of ethical work attitudes. The deck in education is so stacked against male teachers that Cam is correct that no sane man would go there. Damian is spot on about the culture.

        It is indeed a shame,good teachers are worth their weight in gold.


  • kiwirog

    The child fiddler explanation is one, the other is that men are quiet rational and decisive when it comes to giving up on what appears to me to be a chronically underpaid industry. Women probably stick with it because they can come and go around childbirth, the holidays match those of their children etc and they like the “caring”characteristics but these softer benefits are not as important to men who as the primary bread earner in most families (sexist but true) have to be a lot more focussed on the $.

  • Odd Ball

    It’s just as paranoid in N.S.W , OZ.
    It’s becoming compulsory now, even for volunteers to have a certificate in child safety. This includes soccer coaches, surf lifesaving helpers etc.
    In primary schools, all teachers are mandatory reporters, e.g if little Johnny says someone touched them in any way, the teacher has to report this to the police by law.
    It effectively means that it’s best not to physically help or support a child in any way at all.
    It also means you never let a situation happen where you are alone with one child.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      And just guess who would be first-in-line to get their certificates in child safety.

      This approach does not stop kiddy-fiddlers, it is just a bureaucratic exercise, one which they are really good at. “Quality Assurance” (“We ASSURE you that there is quality”) instead of Quality control.

      Just look at Mr Smith and the way he juggled and bent the system, the box-tickers being thoroughly “assured” that he was reformed on every level.

  • Emjay

    I spent a year and a half at teachers college, during one of my placements I was marking the classes work during my lunch hour while the female teacher was also doing paperwork. A little girl aged around 6 or 7 knocked on the door and I let her in, she asked if she could get her lunch box, I told her of course she could. The teacher then told the girl that she wasn’t allowed in the classroom when it was just me there as I might do something to her. I was shocked. Quit teachers college the following week.
    Seems even teachers hold a perception that male teachers are trouble.

    • Peter Maguire

      This comment has got me so fired up and it happens all the time. What action did you take toward the teacher out of interest?

      • Emjay

        Absolutely nothing. While a student teacher you get allocated a ‘buddy teacher’ and you passing or failing a placement depends almost entirely on that teacher. Failure meant redoing a placement which would mean 6 more months at college/ 6 more months of student loan.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      “Seems even teachers hold a perception that male teachers are trouble.”

      I think you are half right.
      That is, of course, assuming the “half” being the teachers such as the one you refer to (a female) so in reality you are more like 80 to 90% right because of the greater proportion of female teachers, and females being naturally more PC as well as (unintentionally) vindictive.
      Ever heard of men being referred to as “catty”?

      Sort of ties in with the teachers’ union political objectives too, which includes destroying the male role in families, etc.

  • oldmanNZ

    Why not just put security cameras so we can see who is lying (pupil or teacher?)

    probably because the PPTA does not want their members bad behaviour recorded.

  • In order for you to get male teachers in significant numbers, a number of things need to change
    1. The attitude that men are a rapist waiting to happen.
    2. The remuneration, Women might be happy to put an ideal of being a teacher above remuneration, but men in general don’t. It’s sexist i know, but that doesn’t make it any less true. KPI & performance bonus also play better to the male psyche in this regard.
    3. The staffroom culture, go to a large factory and look at the groups that form at lunchtime, its like highschool all over again, Men will group with men, Women with women and the only time they mix is when there is a couple or somebody is trying it on with somebody in the group. Being the only male in staffroom full of women at lunchtime would to me be quite uncomfortable.

    • Rick H

      The agenda by certain “feminazi” groups, have caused this problem.
      Some one, somewhere, came up with a figure – probably just out of thin air – around the percentage of “victims” who “come forward.
      If I remember correctly, the allegation – based on nothing but pure speculation – is 5% or thereabouts
      Then those same people state that “one in 3” women or children have been sexually abused – based on their premise that their alleged 95 percent never come forward.

      Well, I for one believe that figure to be vastly over stated.

      Yet, the MSM report it as fact, and the majority of the population also believe what they are hearing.

      From what I have seen, 5 percent may just be a bit low, but I would be very surprised if it was over 10 percent. I believe the other 90 percent of alleged victims do not exist. Certainly not in NZ.

      • Monito

        I really like “feminazi” I am concerned that they have infiltrated every branch of the State Services Commission and of course Iain Rennie is too weak and bumbling to even see it.

  • Andy111A

    I was a teacher over a decade ago, for the first three years of my career.
    – I now earn 3x average salary of a teacher
    – I no longer have to worry about children wanting a hug when they graze their knee
    – Staff room was toxic, only one other male on staff
    – I spent most of my holidays at the school doing IT to keep the network running
    – Even as a new teacher I was under pressure to become a deputy principal as they needed the males
    – The paperwork was insane
    – Dealing with Decile 10 parents was intesting

  • Nirvana10

    You still find many excellent male primary teachers working in private boys’ schools but who on earth is going to risk their reputation by teaching mixed classes in state primary schools? As education has become more and more touchy- feely, more ‘pupil centred’ and more ‘caring and sharing’ the more vulnerable male primary teachers have become. What men in their right minds are going to opt for a career in which they are going to viewed with suspicion by parents whose attitudes towards male teachers have been shaped by the Peter Ellis case.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      Men parents can usually pick up a lot quicker who is a likely kiddy-fiddler, but women parents are more likely to pick up on and follow the female teachers’ ingrained attitudes.