So initially we were attracted to this story by the headline (we were hoping the rare breed was some adorable new ferret or something) and then we liked it for the adorable photo that it ran with (which is so tiny online that we just took a picture of the paper instead, lot of good that did... but look at how tall he is, and how small they are...). But then we actually read the story and were surprised by and kinda disturbed by the numbers hidden in the article.
Though the piece is framed around the humorous image of a 6-foot-7 man teaching a classroom full kindergartners, the real story is the dwindling number of male teachers in early education. Which is to say that currently only 2% of kindergarten teachers in the United States are men. In fact, only 9% of teachers in elementary schools are men, a record low down from a high of 17% in 1981.
Beyond just listing facts however, the story also talks about programs and people that are trying to change things like MenTeach, a nonprofit group that, as you might suspect, recruits men to become teachers. "You teach them everything," one teacher explained to the News, "How to zip up their coat, write their name, tie their shoes, even how to share the blocks... I would recommend that any man do it."
Ugly photo of a photograph by Robert Sabo for the Daily News.