Apparently, being a male kindergarten teacher is a bit of an anomaly. I know, I know… men don’t usually work with the little ones. In my school, I’m the only man in kindergarten. There are no males in first or second grade either. You have to reach the realms of third grade before getting a teacher with a little testosterone. One of the unique aspects of working with young children is, by default, I work almost exclusively with women.
One of the questions I get asked most is, just how is it working with only ladies all day long? To be fair, before I began teaming with Mrs. D. this year, I really worked with myself all day long. Teaching, no matter your gender, is a profession usually void of a lot of adult contact… something I’m fine with.
As for the rest of the ladies I’m surrounded by, I’d say for the most part, they are respectful and supportive. There are always those that appear to be less than friendly and helpful, but I don’t think being a man has anything to do with it… they don’t discriminate in their impoliteness. I’m lucky to have a small group of friends who have literally lifted me up at times. I try and remember to tell them all how wonderful they are, but I’m sure I don’t do it enough.
The teacher’s room can be a dangerous place for a man at lunchtime. I’ve heard and learned more about pregnancy and birth than I ever cared to know. I’ve seen more ultra-sound photographs than an ultrasonographer (for the record, no I can’t see the baby, they all like a cross between a peanut and a squirrel to me).
I’ve been to enough wedding and baby showers to make a small dent in my bank account. Apparently you are not supposed to dig into the food until the guest of honor arrives, something I learned the hard way. The good news is there’s almost always cake and enough frosting can make almost anything bearable… even the sight of twenty women ‘oooohing’ and ‘aaaaahing’ over tiny baby clothes.
Being a rooster among hens isn’t as glorious as it sounds. Thankfully, most of the ladies I’m surrounded by help make my job easier (Mrs. D., Ms. R., Miss M., Mrs. F. – you all make coming to work a joy). And let’s not forget the kids. The little smiles and hugs can sometimes literally propel me through a bad day. When a small sprout looks up at me and says, “I love school and I love you!” it puts it all into perspective.