Female vs Male teachers. Are females better teachers?

OK, I know I’m going to open up a real can o’ worms with this one but what the hell, I’ll throw it out anyway and then sit back and watch the hate. I’ve noticed from lots of tealit and other website ads that often school owners prefer women. Private tutor ads also frequently specify women-only tutors. I’m not going take a stand one way or the other except to share a few enecdotal examples and then let the forumosa peanut gallery add your own theories as to why females are often preferred and also your thoughts about whether there is any evidence besides personal anecdotes here and there, to confirm that women are better suited for teaching than men, at least in the eyes of the school owner or private tutor student.
I am theorizing that, at least for Kindergarten, they represent the nurturing “mother”-type figure. In general, I’m guessing that school owners see them as more mature, responsible, less prone to come to work drunk and less prone to do stupid things in general and also a bit of the “nurturing” image already mentioned. Let’s face it, I must admit, as a guy that I think as a species, males are more prone to get butt wild, adversly affecting work now and again.
That being said, I can cite 2 very recent examples at my own school, where there are exceptions. My boss wanted a female teacher-only, to teach the flagship whole language class. She didn’t worry about the lowly bilingual classes. They are all taught by men. She insisted female teachers were needed for the whole language section as this was the flagship of the school. Then she got one, who lasted only 2 months and was canned for the same problems associated with males: drunk at work, late, party all night and call in sick, etc etc. She was replaced more recently with a 2nd female teacher, who, while not drunk, was miserably derelict in her teaching duties and was also fired after 2 months. After firing 2 consecutive female teachers and losing 5 students by angry parents, my boss has re-thought her strategy and yesterday a new-hire male teacher was brought in for that class. Does that mean female teachers are bad just because the last 2 hired at my school were shit? No, of course not and I’m not implying they are. But it seems that many owners have a gender stereotype going. OK, let’s talk about private tutoring. I can understand why private tutor students, particularly female, prefer a female tutor. They don’t have to worry about being groped by the “teacher” or asked out on a date or being lured on what basically is a date, under the guise of “tutoring” or “LE.” OK, let’s muddy up the waters some by hearing other people’s opinions and observations about why many schools want female vs male teachers, and your own experiences. Let the fray begin.

From a biological point of view, women tend to be weaker and less prone to violence. They also tend to do what they are told easier than men. The factories in China wanted young women 18-29 working for them, they didn’t want men. This however doesn’t mean a woman can not be worse than a man, but there is a perception that they are more likly to be better behaved.

I wouldn’t say female or male teachers are better, but in some situations a certain sex may be preferred.

For example: In a group class I think it tends to matter less, unless of course it’s some kind of religious institution that has single sex classes. It can matter a lot more in private classes as a single female may not feel comfortable being with a male teacher and vice versa. I once took over a private class from a female co-worker (3 years ago) because she wasn’t getting on with her student, a boy of 14 who’s sole interest was video games; the student was given to me as I had a ps2 at the time… we got on just fine. There was another situation when I was given a private student who was an 8 year old girl who’s main interest was mermaids… I’ve never had to dig so deep in my life to force myself to talk about mermaids and mermaid related things for an hour and a half every Friday evening! I try to use student’s interests to get them to talk.

I’m not suggesting that only males can talk about video games and that females should handle all mermaid cases, I’m just saying that in some cases a certain may be more suitable. It all depends on the student’s needs and what they feel comfortable with.

Out of my friends back in the UK, the lasses tend to drink and mess around just as much as the lads :slight_smile:

Although the teaching profession is certainly female dominated and it can be argued that women are more natural nurturers, I disagree that it can be generalized that they are “better teachers”. I know that I’m a much better teacher than some of the women I’ve worked with, while some women are fantastic teachers.
Let me use my college experience as an example where my “best” teachers were men. I had a woman World History 101 teacher whom I loved, but often laughed to myself at some of the things she presented in class or her mispronunciations of rather common historical events or figures. In contrast, my 2 main upper level history professors ate, read, and slept history and new their topics, inside, out, and backwards and taught it in such a way that held students captivated.
So to give a definitive answer to the thread title question: It depends.

I’ve had my sensibilities offended! :fume:

But seriously, I think it depends on the person, and if the schools are just trying to do damage control by only accepting female teachers, they may have another thing coming. No doubt there are some very responsible gentlemen out there that they’re missing out on.

Well this is an interesting point that Suan Pinker talks about in the sexual paradox. Men tend to be more extreme than women. She explains this as why more men are in managerial positions and are working in upper level science jobs. While some women are like men and are willing to spend 80 hours plus a week doing something, men tend to be able to focus better on a single goal. That is also why many more men are treated for attention deficit disorders(ADD).

Yeah I always had that disease when I was about 15 and we had really hot young 21 year old female teachers in junior high school.

Focus on a single goal you say… that’s easy :smiley:

Our librarian was a real hottie too… But one day as she was driving her car back from a weekend vacation she took a sharp bend in the road, alas she wasnt wearing a seat belt and her drivers door opened and she fell out of the car and was tragically killed.

All the students at the school were mortified, cause most librarians were rather stuffy and ours was really nice. We were all feeling sad for a long time.

That’s a non-sequitur. I would think someone with ADD would be less able to focus on a single goal.

I will try to look that up when I have time. Maybe it was another disorder. Anyways the main premise of the book was while of course some women will focus minutely on non-human interactions most will not or become bored with it. Actually Pinker discusses several friends in Academic science who left their fields because they thought they were not really making a difference any anyone’s lives. Actually one ended up becoming an elementary teacher.