At some point in their career, many teachers will start to notice a difference in the way teachers are treated depending on how their gender presents.
They might notice that parents are more critical of women teachers, especially those teaching STEM subjects. Maybe they’ll notice that administration fawns over and praises male teachers for doing the same things that female teachers are expected to do without recognition. Or perhaps they’ll see a significant difference in how men and women are treated by students.
Recently a Reddit user posed this question:
Does anyone else feel like female teachers are treated worse by students, admin and parents than male teachers? from Teachers
Almost all teachers said they’d seen or experienced female teachers receiving worse treatment than male teachers.
Here’s what they had to say.
“I’ve had a number [of students] on my caseload who have behavioral issues with only female staff at school. Never has anyone had issues with only male staff.”
“As a white male, I’ve seen women, especially of color, be treated worse than their male colleagues my entire career.”
“I am a [male] department chair and my [female] department members and I will play a game where they suggest something, will get shot down, and then I bring up the same idea worded differently and suddenly I am being thanked for my ‘thoughtful ideas.'”
“I have numerous male students who try to challenge me about curriculum, definitions, deadlines, etc., yet their male teachers have ‘no issues!’ with them.”
“My management strategies PALE in comparison to many of my female colleagues, but for some reason, students who will attempt asinine activities in their classes are barely on the radar in mine.”
“When a male colleague gets one kid who has some difficulties and makes a connection, he gets teacher of the year. For the rest of us, it’s just expected.”
“My husband … had to simply show up and say something silly to be teacher of the year.”
“A [male] sports coach can have high expectations and a student thrives. I have high expectations and I’m a b****.”
“Teaching is one of the least respected career fields BECAUSE it is predominantly a female dominated career.”
Others commented that male teachers have to take on difficult students or are assumed to be pedophiles.
“Male teachers are dumping grounds for students with disciplinary issues …”
“Male teachers have their own terrible treatment and concerns.”
Other Redditors brought up examples of where poor treatment of both genders occurs.
“Parents blow off academic concerns raised by my [female] partner, and then act like they are taking things seriously when I raise the same issues. On the flip side, I think [parents] are more likely to confide social/emotional issues relating to their child to my partner teacher.”
“Depends … Basically: [male teachers] get away with a lot more but have very specific and difficult issues as well.”
The prevailing theme in the Reddit thread: By and large, women teachers have it worse when it comes to treatment and expectations from students, parents, and admin. Male teachers may be expected to take on certain tasks, but these tasks pale in comparison with the extras that women teachers are expected to take on. Not to mention, the added insult of the near-heroic praise male teachers get for the “extras” women teachers do all the time.
We’re not asking for preferential treatment, just equal respect.
We’ll end on what can best be described as this Reddit thread’s mic drop:
What do you think—are women teachers treated worse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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