Gender Roles for Teachers (Double Standard?)

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cornflakes, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. cornflakes

    cornflakes Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2018

    I have noticed that if male (straight) teachers interact / play with the boys, nothing much is made of it.
    If the male (straight) teacher interacts / plays with the girls, there is more pressure of "inappropriateness" looming right around the corner. Why this double-standard?

    To answer my own question, I understand that it has to do with genders. There seems to be more risk or inappropriateness if a male teacher is seen touching (ie. hug, holding hands, patting/rubbing the back or head) a girl, but to a boy it would pass as healthy affection.

    A straight male is naturally attracted to females so that is the "risk"?

    Reverse the genders and would it be the same if a female teacher (straight) was interacting / playing with girls, nothing much said of it, but if she was doing that with the boys, would there complaints of inappropriateness? It hardly seems to be equal in this regard.

    Now let me take it to another level. What if the male teacher is gay? Would people be more comfortable with this gay male teacher playing with the girls since he has no chance of being attracted by that gender in a sexual way, but more uncomfortable if he plays with the boys since the risk factor is present?

    It would be really great if there was a gay teacher on this forum who could share their experiences and tell us if the pressures for them are the same or different? As a gay teacher, do you feel more pressure to be "appropriate" near the boys because of what people might think?
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I will start off by saying I’m not gay. Since you are, I think you should be careful around male students as your actions might be misconstrued as inappropriate considering that you are attracted to other males.

    With that said, I think a teacher should maintain a professional relationship with his or her students at all times. Otherwise, you can wind up in a heap of trouble that could jeopardize your career and freedom, so never you mind the gender differences.

    As a teacher in his mid-20’s, I look very young for my age and my students frequently comment how I look like a pre-teen/teenager aged anywhere from 12-16. I’ve had students say that I could be their older/younger brother, etc. Over the years, I’ve had students, mostly male, touch me inappropriately and say sexual comments to me. For each occurrence, I’ve involved administration and said students’ parents because I have to be very careful as innocuous things led from one thing to another. I suspect it is because students think that I, as a younger teacher, am one of “them” and so they feel as if they can get away with doing what they do.

    It’s quite frustrating, really.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I’ve never noticed any issues with the gay teachers I’ve worked with over the years. I do, however, teach middle school. Maybe that’s the difference?
     
  5. Aces

    Aces Cohort

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    So I am a gay male teacher. I try to be very aware of how I interact with students, regardless of their gender or my sexual preferences. I think it's a respect thing. Students need role models who they can see what are appropriate levels of physical communication. I've never had any issues with anything I've done, but have had a few issues with how students have acted. In which case I've always gotten my admin team, our resource officer, and the students parents involved immediately.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Excellent advice as always. Also explains why you were hired as a VP. :)
     
  7. Aces

    Aces Cohort

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    Heh thanks. This is one of those things I think society in general is guilty of going to extremes over. Because there is an appropriate level of physical contact in between two people. There's this stigma that you absolutely can't touch anyone ever..
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Concerning your promotion, I guess you could say that “Aces is going places!” Lol.

    Regarding touching other people, I think there is a societal stigma because some people overreact and get accusatory, which has ruined many people’s lives. It’s best to just keep one’s hands to himself or herself as it’s not worth the potential fallout.
     
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  9. Aces

    Aces Cohort

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    Yup, that's pretty much exactly it. Then we wonder why we have a society of attention starved people.
     
  10. rpan

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    Boundaries and respecting personal space is an important life skill to know and we should lead by example. I don’t think it really matters what genders or sexual orientation is interacting with each other. I teach 13 to 15 year olds and it’s important they know about their own personal space, how to act when someone is in their personal space and making them feel uncomfortable and also respecting others’ too.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I second this. I really wish students would learn boundaries. For example, I currently have a student who walks up to me when I am not looking and whispers in my ear. I’ve asked him not to do that several times, but he just smirks and walks away. It’s quite unnerving.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I get hugged by high school students all the time and it is awkward... Ugh! I’ve even been ambushed into a hug by the entire football team almost simultaneously and I can’t do anything about it. Seriously. I tried walking away and my body would not budge because of the collective weight.

    Why are some students so touchy-feely?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  15. Aces

    Aces Cohort

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    I feel your pain. I got pulled into a band-senior hug at their finals competition....which turned into a massive band geek hug. Moving wasn't am option. At all.
     
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  16. Aces

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    I have to agree here. I'll be space cadet for a while and randomly get hugged, high fives, fist bumps, etc. They catch me by surprise and I'll be like oh we're doing this okay then. At least mentally.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This. Exactly this!
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Lol!
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Well, most of the students at my school have good home lives, so...
     
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  20. Aces

    Aces Cohort

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    Yeah our marching band is 400 strong.
     
  21. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019

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