This is not a post with answers. I wish I had them. This is a post with questions, pondering, and definitely a personal reflection. But answers? I don’t have those yet.
I didn’t realize how many teachers were women until I became an education major. Sitting in my class I couldn’t help but notice the disparity of women to men. As I focused on elementary education the gap widened and there would only be a few token men among us. Odd to say the least coming from a mathematical schooling background. As I started going in to schools I noticed the same, every school would have maybe one or two male teachers, along with a male custodian, and almost always a male principal. I kept wondering where the male teachers were? Had we chased them out of education? Did you have to be female to be a part of an elementary school?
That all changed when I got connected. Through blogging, Twitter and online presentations, I found all of the male teachers. In fact, I found so many of them I started to wonder where did all of the females go? Sure there are many female teachers on Twitter, but when we look at who is “more” connected whether you measure that as extra projects done, books written, presentations done, more followers, or even keynote speakers, I started to notice a disparity. While I may work in a female dominated professions, when it came to putting oneself out there, the male educators are more prominent.
Perhaps to some this is not a big deal, but as a female, and a feminist to boot, I can’t help but wonder why this is? Why does it appear that there are more heavily connected males in education than females? Why does it appear that more keynotes are given by males? More education books written by males? More educations related projects started by males? Is it a reporting slant or is actually true?
Have we as females regaled ourselves to “just” be teachers and shy away from self-promotion upping our connectedness? Have we found ourselves to be too busy to leave our families and go to conferences? Too busy to put in conference proposals? Are we too modest to toot our own horn? Too something to not be viewed as potential keynote speakers? Surely, male educators experience the same?
Am I wrong here? I consider myself pretty connected and although I know some incredible women in education, I know way many more males. Why is that? As I started out by saying, I wish I had the answers, I don’t but I cannot help but wonder: where do all the female educators go? And why aren’t we more connected?