Men, Boys and Teachers

My neighbor across the street is a grade school teacher.  So is a friend living a few blocks away.  Both are men.  Men as grade school teachers are pretty rare these days, and that’s too bad.  What could be more important to grade school boys than a good male role model to encourage and guide them into a love of learning?  What could be more important to grade school girls than an adult man modeling what responsible, caring manhood is all about?  That’s a bit of hyperbole of course, but the point is that good male role models are a bit hard to come by, particularly men who are not parents and who are able to spend day after day as important parts of a child’s life.  That seems to be most especially true in the pre-pubescent years when beliefs and attitudes about what it means to be a man are firmly embedded.

Somewhere along the way toward opening career pathways for women, we shut down a few for men, and I’m not sure why.  It seems that, in some communities, men who are grade school teachers are demeaned as people who couldn’t make it as high school or college teachers.  What is that all about?

So here’s to my neighbors!  May God prosper their work and the gifts they offer to our children.

Which reminds me, a decade ago my female colleague in a near by city complained about how few women led congregations in our region.  At our clergy gatherings shortly before my retirement I was the only male who led a congregation.  That, of course, is not true for every denomination in our area.  Our local ministerial association is dominated by congregations that are unlikely to see any female clergy in the near future, and association notices have sometimes gone out with the salutation, “Brothers.”  But I digress and am about to get angry, and so to bed.

2 thoughts on “Men, Boys and Teachers”

  1. I am curious about the denominational makeup of the local ministerial association you refer to. The ones I know that fit your descripion, from my previous knowledge, are Missouri Synod Lutheran (who do not join associations outside their own), Churches of Christ (not the local Christian or the United Church of Christ), the Eastern Orthodox, Southern Baptist, and sometimes, the Roman Catholic. None of these, except sometimes the RCs, usually join ministerial associations. I am too new to this area to be familiar with the Seventh Day Adventist practices in that regard (either having any female clergy or joining ecumenical associations locally).

  2. Since you recused yourself from answering my query about the makeup of the local ministerial association you mentioned, I will just assume that it is \”dominated\” by clergy from conservative churches locally which are \”liberal\” enough to allow their ministers to join with those of other denominations, but mostly \”conservative\” in not usually having ordained women attend, at least locally?

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