The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

A Lone Man

Today I was a reading specialist at Sangamon Elementary in Mahomet. I’ve only taught at Sangamon one other time, which was back in November, and I had a great experience, as I have had every time I’ve taught in Mahomet. So I was looking forward to returning to the school.

My day consisted of listening to 1st and 2nd grade students read quietly to themselves, then practice writing sight words on marker boards. They also played some matching games the teacher had created, which simply reinforced their awareness of sight words. Not a tough day at all. It was actually a fairly good experience working with these kids, and I look forward to when I can return.

I had an odd experience when I was standing by my door, though. The students in the halls would pause when they saw me and then crane their necks to keep looking at me as long as they could. It took me a while to figure out why. You see, of all the faculty and staff at Sangamon, there are only two men: the principal and one of the custodians. So when the students see a male teacher, they see an oddity. It is very similar to when I was doing my student teaching in Paxton. The smaller school districts in more rural areas tend to have fewer male teachers. I’m not sure why that is, though. I have always known that I would be a minority in my profession. It is kind of strange when I am the only man.

Such is my job, though. Some days I am surrounded by men, other days I am surrounded by women. However, one thing remains the same: I am always surrounded by professionals who take their jobs seriously and want the very best for their young charges.


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