"Why I'm sad my kids will never have a male teacher."

I’d love for my children to have a male teacher because mine were so amazing. But it’s unlikely to happen, for a terrible reason.

Young men are reluctant to become teachers because they hold fears they’ll one day be falsely accused of a child sex offense. Isn’t that sad?

SA Primary Principals Association state president Pam Kent said the number of men entering primary teaching is dropping rapidly. She told the Adelaide Advertiser, “Part of the reason is that male teachers are increasingly at risk by being alone with students and people are very conscious about this and they are more vulnerable to the possibility of unfair or vexatious allegation.”

When I think of some of the male teachers I had I can’t help but feel that my children are going to miss out on a very special relationship.

I’ve had female teachers I’ve absolutely loved and male teachers I’ve treasured just as much. My sisters and I all remember Mr. Cameron at Annangrove Public School in Sydney’s north-west. He wasn’t the only male teacher at the school but he was the best. My sister remembers him as being a maths genius. “He was my year 4 teacher and he was the one that fired my love for numbers… He was a bit of a maths whizz.”

When he left the school we were bereft. We followed him around all day and cried and cried and cried.

I loved him so much because he expected so much of me, of all of us. We were only in Year 4, just nine, but he held us to a high standard. He pushed us and he believed in us. He made us believe we could do anything.

My step-daughter-in-law Dee remembers Mr. Watson, the star of the school. "He was a real man's man that coached footy on the side, strict but he really liked me as I was a 'keen student.' I adored him, hope he's doing well."

My friend Ian remembers the teacher who inspired him to sing. "My 4th class (Yr 4) teacher, Mr Jones was a cool cat. He used to read The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings to us every day before we went home. My 6th class teacher, Roger Howell is an opera singer these days and he encouraged me to follow my dreams as a singer."


All these teachers were role models for both male and female students. It's so important for our children to be exposed to a range of role models in schools. I wish different genders and lifestyle choices were better reflected in the teaching staff in our schools.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Darryl Cross told the Adelaide Advertiser, “It’s absolutely fundamental for children’s development that they have those role models bearing in mind that lots of children in schools nowadays come from single parent families."

My boys have only ever had female teachers, brilliant ones, but I'd still love to see them have at least one male teacher while they are in primary school. The only place they've been exposed to male role models outside of our family is in swimming class and at soccer, so that's better than nothing. Philip did have a male teacher at his first preschool but he's too young to remember him. His name was Rob. He was firm but fun, he lead a sing along every afternoon while he played his guitar and it was so great to see him there. I wish there were more male preschool teachers too.

Any job that involves working with children requires a range of checks so we know our children would be just as safe with these teachers as they are with female teachers. Even as a volunteer at my son's school I have to complete an online course and basic checks. So why are men so fearful of working with children? Surely all the procedures in place are enough to protect our children and our male teachers. And more importantly, how can we prevent men from turning away from the profession?

Do you remember having a brilliant male teacher when you were in school? Have your children ever had a male teacher?

Want more? Try:

Okay, so I’m a little bit in love with my son’s teacher.

What this teacher did for one of her students is extraordinary.

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