|Jonathan Gilbert, a fourth-grade teacher at Golden Springs Elementary School, helps Dorothy Winston with classwork. Gilbert is among about two dozen male teachers at Calhoun County’s public elementary schools. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star|
Jonathan Gilbert wanted to parlay his knack for working with kids into a teaching career.
Taking education classes at Alabama A&M University, he quickly learned what made him stand out most among his classmates: his Y chromosome.
According to new data from the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, the number of male teachers is at a 40-year low.
“There were several (classes) where I looked around and I was the only man,” said Gilbert, now a fourth-grade teacher at Golden Springs Elementary School.
“At first I didn’t really think of it that way. But I realized I would be in the minority.”
NEA reports that a quarter of the nation’s 3 million teachers are men. Male elementary teachers are even more scant at just 9 percent, down from an all-time high of 18 percent in 1981.
Locally, Gilbert is among about two dozen male teachers at the county’s public elementary schools.
Data from the Alabama Department of Education show about 4 percent of the 616 elementary teachers in Calhoun’s five school systems are men. About half of those are physical education teachers.
See the full story here.