To Sir: Where are you?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2011 Population Survey indicates that men make up 18.3 percent of elementary and middle school teachers and 2.3 percent of preschool and kindergarten instructors, down from 2007 pre-recession proportions of 19.1 percent for grades 1 to 8, and 2.7 percent for preschool and kindergarten, reports Sarah Sparks in Education Week.

High school educators are more evenly divided: 42 percent in 2011 were men, down from 43.1 percent in 2007. The diminishing status of teachers generally, coupled with continuing sexism against men working with children, may be discouraging men from entering the field. Chanté Chambers, who recruits at historically black colleges and universities for Teach For America, sees the trend play out among high-achieving college students. Education's low status is "a major barrier" to bringing more men, particularly black men, into the field. "They're coming from communities that are not necessarily affluent, so it adds to pressure to be that breadwinner, to have financial stability," she explains.

According to Shaun Johnson, a former D.C. teacher and now a professor at Towson University, "Teacher-bashing is a new national pastime ... and [one] which you could argue is highly gendered. [Teaching's] status as a profession isn't going to improve in this climate; it's only going to get worse."

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