Male Teachers on the Decline

February 29, 2008 9:21:02 PM PST
A new report shows the number of male teachers is on the decline nationwide.Experts say low pay is driving many men away.

Two streets running along side each other with the same distance in between them, What would that be called?

Joe Espinosa's hoping geometry will come easy to his fourth graders at Jackson Elementary.

Espinosa draws from his former career as a successful businessman as he tries to reach these children.

Joe Espinosa: "You want to shine and you want them to shine and you want them to be successful citizens."

Many elementary students across the nation may never have a male role model like Espinosa in the classroom.

The national education association says the number of male teachers is at a 40-year low.

Nationally 24% of the teachers in the classroom are male. However, that number is a little bit higher here in Fresno County where 33% of males make up the teacher workforce.

Educators in Fresno chalk-up the higher percentage due to more colleges in the area training more teachers. Also more athletic programs are reaching students at even younger ages-a factor that appeals to many young males.

In fact Jackson Elementary has three other male teachers besides Espinoza.

But still Larry Moore with the Fresno Teacher's Association says it all comes down to pay.

Larry Moore: "It's a competitive system and the kind of working conditions and the kind of salary do make a difference, especially when you're trying to recruit diversity."

See this one has two points, right? It would be LA and San Francisco.

Money was a concern for Espinosa, whose wife is also a teacher, but he says he's happy with his decision to leave the business world in favor of the classroom.

Joe Espinosa: "When you weigh both, the chance to do the things I'm doing right now that there's no thinking about it. That's just what you want to do."

Educational leaders in Fresno County say they're committed to bringing more teachers like Espinosa into the classroom.


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