Student wants to know whether male teachers should get bonuses

[MenTeach: We receive numerous inquiries from students that have assignments for their classes. Here is one example that asks an interesting question. What do you think? I've included my reply.]

Hi there, I am working on an assignment for a class where I have to argue that it is undemocratic to use extreme measures such as paying them more, in order to attract more male teachers. I was wondering what your organizations thoughts on this matter are. Do you think male teachers should be paid more or perhaps given a bonus?  Why or Why not?

I would greatly appreciate a response, thanks so much!

MenTeach Reply:

Hi, Ms. X,

What a great question!

The way I would answer this is to look at how women are treated in other professions:

1) Do we pay incentives to recruit women for other careers?
2) Do we have special programs for women for becoming lawyers, doctors, plumbers and scientists?

The answer to the first question is: No, not that I know of.

But the second, is Yes. There are numerous programs to recruit women into Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM):

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/22/stem

Here is an article that might be useful for you to read:

Men in Your Teacher Preparation Program: Five Strategies to Recruit and Retain Them

Also here is a global perspective in a UN Report about male teachers needing to be recruited.

Council of European Union Recommends Increasing the Percentage of Male Teachers in ECE

So should men be paid differently than women? Not if they are doing the same job and have the same years of experiences. Should we try to recruit more men, particularly men of color to have more democratic schools and classrooms - Absolutely!

What do we want our schools to be like for our children?

We want the most modern schools, the best equipment, the cleanest and safest classrooms and we also want the most qualified adults teaching our children. And we also want the classrooms to reflect the society children live in - and that means we need both women AND men teaching our children.

Let me know how it goes - we'd love to see what you end up writing.

Student from University of Florida