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Teaching is a historically female-dominated profession, but that is rapidly changing. More men than ever are now earning teacher certifications or degrees and taking their place in the classroom. While the percentage of men in the classroom is growing, most text books, forums, and blog posts only offer advice for female teachers.

A male student teacher on Reddit asked his fellow males, “What don’t they tell you in college?” and the advice rolled in. Below, we’ve highlighted the best responses from the tread. Read the entire thread here.

Role Models

That I would end up being the only male role model/father figure for half my class because they are either the kids of single moms…or they are in the system. – Turing45

I’ve had parents come in and tell me that their kid (generally boys) thinks the world of me and I’m their favorite teacher. It’s pretty humbling to realize I may be the closest thing to a role model. I try to keep that in mind in how I dress, speak, and treat others (especially women).  – boyerling3

I never thought I would have kids tell me that I was their father figure in their life. On the one hand, it’s really meaningful and fulfilling, but on the other, it’s a lot of pressure. – infinitum17

Clothing

Figure out what to wear and buy enough of that outfit to go for a week or two. I stopped wearing “nicer” clothing that may look a little more professional because I’m moving all the time. –leeshis0019

The greatest thing ever for a male teacher…a shoe dryer. Alternate wearing shoes and drying them.  – futureformerteacher

Bonding

If you can find a group of male colleagues to hang out with then do it. I am able to find a group easily, but we all like hanging out with our female colleagues as well so it’s not that big of a deal. However, it is nice to just talk “guy stuff” every now and then. – leeshis0019

My school (elementary level) has a “men’s lunch club.” All the guys get together once every month or two and go out for a meal. Great bonding experience. – rastamanpastaman

Female Students

Something I read on an online forum while in high school and remembered while contemplating going into education was to always squat down while talking to a female student seated at a desk so it couldn’t possibly look like you were trying to see down her shirt. After reading this, I noticed most male teachers do exactly that while talking to female students. – box_of_squirrels

I never get really close to any of my students. Maybe an arm length or two away and I make a point to look them in the eyes. –leeshis0019

If you’re a guy with a deeper voice and larger frame (that can mean anything from tall to broad) – be mindful of your interactions with young girls. Teaching is such a female dominated profession, that I didn’t realize as a (middle school) teacher I was the first male teacher many of my young girls ever had. As a result, I scared the living daylights out of them because they’re not used to a “gruff guy” type of personality. I had to learn incredibly quickly to deliberately and methodically show a gentler side of myself so I didn’t drive students away. – DigitalPriest

And Finally…

A student teacher I had last year texted me the other day and said, “Kindergarteners are nut height.” I guess they keep running into him to hug him and hit him constantly. – OhioMegi

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About The Author

Rachael is the Online Marketing Specialist for the American Board. She enjoys blogging, social media, and DIY.

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