TikToker discusses why more men don't want to be teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

Male Teacher Blames 'Stigma' For Men Not Wanting To Teach Younger Kids In Viral TikTok

Teaching is a uniquely challenging job. It's something that society needs and something that can make a huge impact on lives, but, all too often, teachers are overworked and underpaid.

A TikToker recently brought up an issue that doesn't get talked about much: why aren't there more male teachers for the younger grades? When he explains the stigma, it all starts to make sense.

Seriously, why aren't there more male teachers?

Young kids sitting on a classroom floor
Unsplash | CDC

I had a male teacher in third grade, then one in eighth grade. Otherwise, everyone who taught me up until high school was a woman. Indeed, male-identifying teachers compose only 11 percent of the total of elementary school teachers in the United States.

One male elementary school teacher shared his thoughts.

TikToker discusses why more men don't want to be teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

The teacher, who goes by @mr.trayvon on TikTok, began his video by discussing the stigma surrounding male teachers.

"[The stigma] is sad, and keeps many men from wanting to work in elementary schools," he said.

Commenters agreed.

Comments on TikTok video about lack of male teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

Trayvon explained that a kindergarten-age girl needed help using the monkey bars. This would have required him to hold onto her — something he feared might get him in trouble. Instead, a female teacher stepped in to help the girl.

It's a thorny situation.

TikToker discusses why more men don't want to be teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

"I’m always afraid of a parent seeing me doing something with a student that’s completely and misconstruing it, reporting it to my district office, and I get a call from them saying ‘come to the office, you’ve got an allegation,'" Trayvon said.

Dress codes are a whole can of worms.

Comments on TikTok video about lack of male teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

There are countless stories about teachers who've used questionable judgment in enforcing dress codes. When policing these codes entails looking closely at students to assess whether their outfits are sexualized, teachers like Trayvon have concluded that it just isn't worth the hassle.

Safety is important.

Comments on TikTok video about lack of male teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

Trayvon said that he totally gets where parents are coming from. Their children are precious to them, and they want to protect them from any teachers who may be predatory. However, Trayvon says, this sometimes makes villains out of honest teachers.

Is there a double standard?

Comments on TikTok video about lack of male teachers
TikTok | @mr.trayvon

It does seem that women are perceived to be more trustworthy than men when it comes to teaching young kids. While predatory female teachers do exist, male teachers have been shown to perpetrate more severe and lengthier abuse.

Would an age limitation help?

A commenter suggested an age limitation for teachers, something that doesn't seem well-thought-out. Trayvon shot down the idea, saying that it won't help solve any problems and won't address the issue of how few men are educating young kids.

What do you think?

A teacher's desk
Unsplash | Element5 Digital

Parents, would you feel less comfortable if your young child was taught by a man and not by a woman? Why or why not? Trayvon's brought up some interesting food for thought, so be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.