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Men in child care (creches/nurseries/kindergartens) in Poland


delphiandomine 85 | 17,704    
24 Oct 2018  #1
As an attempt to start and encourage a discussion, I'd like to ask members here if they've ever encountered men working in pre-schools? It seems that they're almost non-existent outside of expensive private places, and even then, they're treated mostly as a "ooh, isn't he so cute?" rather than as a serious professional. It seems to me that if a child is spending 8-9 hours a day in such a place, then they should have both male and female teachers to provide a balanced upbringing - but what are the opinions of the members?

Personally, I wouldn't do it, though I'm formally qualified to do so. I did some work experience in a nursery out of curiosity and hated every second of it.
Lyzko 20 | 6,185    
24 Oct 2018  #2
Can't speak for Poland, but I (generation end of '59) had a male fourth grade teacher, a Mr. Ralph Hellinger. at my primary public school.

I was roughly seven at the time and I believe he was the only one such teacher in the entire school!

Later found out he was gay, but then most of us suspected as much.
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,704    
24 Oct 2018  #3
I (generation end of '59) had a male fourth grade teacher

Yeah, in my school, there was one male grade / class teacher, though he never taught us personally. Everyone else was female, even the sport teachers.

Polish schools are a bit different as they separate into individual subjects already in elementary / primary school, so you tend to find quite a few men there teaching older kids. I teach mostly grade 1-3 kids in my school, though I've been stuck with one grade 7 class this year who really get on my nerves.
Lyzko 20 | 6,185    
24 Oct 2018  #4
Didn't know that.

Thanks, Delph!
Miloslaw 6 | 1,534    
24 Oct 2018  #5
My son did it for a while,but he's now moved on to teaching and training teenage kids,many with disabilities.
I think he enjoyed his time with pre school kids but prefers what he is doing now.
I think the young kids he taught liked the novelty factor that he was a man,and of course,many of these kids had absent fathers.
Lyzko 20 | 6,185    
24 Oct 2018  #6
Guess I was so acculturated into thinking that only young women even become pre-school and primary school teachers, I was surprised when this, let's call him Mr. Hellinger. first came into our class.
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,704    
24 Oct 2018  #7
but he's now moved on to teaching and training teenage kids,many with disabilities.

Much respect to him for doing so. I've had very limited (a few hours) experience with kids with mental disabilities, and I found it incredibly draining and difficult. One of them had issues with violent outbursts, and I saw how they would handle it. He would be... I don't know how to explain it, but they would 'contain' him while his chaperone (a big, strong bloke) would get him into a kind of bear hug. He'd then hold him in place until the danger had passed, though he told me that the teenager had superhuman strength while in a rage.

I asked if he ever had any serious situations, and he told me about one time when the teenager in question had bitten (and locked his jaws) on the arm of a fellow student. He had no choice but to apply a choke hold to get him to release the other kid, though serious damage had already been done. I asked him what he could have done differently, and he said that there was nothing you could realistically do to keep others safe except exclude him from society, which was a huge no-no.

I think the young kids he taught liked the novelty factor that he was a man,and of course,many of these kids had absent fathers.

Absolutely, I suspect it's even more of an issue in deprived areas. I did the PGCE with a guy who works in an awful school, and he said that the biggest challenge of all is showing the kids that there's a future for them. One kid came to him and said "look, I'm getting several hundred quid a week dealing weed, why should I bother in school?". How the hell do you answer that if a kid has no father and comes from a poor estate?
mafketis 17 | 6,765    
25 Oct 2018  #8
I can think of a few reasons for not many men working with pre-school kids

One of course is sex differences, not absolute but distributional, on average, more women are more interested in small children then men are (men might be very involved with their own children but find the idea of being around other people's kids..... not so interesting.

Fear of scandal and/or sex hysteria (not so relevant in Poland but very much a concern in some countries). Hysteria can rise up based on pretty much nothing at all and a man around children is going to be the object of intense suspicion.

Parental concern, many parents might be concerned about unrelated grown men spending time with their small children (see point above).

So a small potential pool is made smaller by reasonable concerns...

both male and female teachers to provide a balanced upbringing

well that's why there used to be so much stigma against unwed mothers, the safest adult model for a child is the father and grandfathers
Dougpol1 27 | 2,579    
25 Oct 2018  #9
unrelated grown men spending time with their small children

And priests....? That seems to be accepted, historically speaking, with reference to Sunday school in christian religions.
mafketis 17 | 6,765    
25 Oct 2018  #10
And priests....?

Sexual abuse is hardly limited to the RC church, it's extensive in Orthodox Jewish schools as well as madrassas (also horrific physical abuse is common in the latter).

Let's not discriminate, let's spread our scorn out equally....
Miloslaw 6 | 1,534    
25 Oct 2018  #11
I've had very limited (a few hours) experience with kids with mental disabilities, and I found it incredibly draining and difficult.

My son is the same but he gets a lot of satisfaction from his job.He is a big,strong and fit young man and has suffered being punched,kicked spat at and bitten.

But he has a warm heart and the patience of a saint.
I couldn't do it.
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,704    
25 Oct 2018  #12
Hysteria can rise up based on pretty much nothing at all and a man around children is going to be the object of intense suspicion.

It was actually this article that made me wonder - bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-45964562 - you're right, the intense suspicion is what likely discourages many men from going near such careers, even if they're perfectly capable of doing a good job. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to be an issue in expensive private nurseries.

But he has a warm heart and the patience of a saint.

He has my utmost respect and admiration for doing it - working with kids that have disabilities is hard enough, but doing it with teenagers is even harder. It's one of the toughest jobs in teaching in my opinion, because you're not only trying to get them into a place where they can reasonably function in society, but also with all the problems that teenagers have.
cms neuf - | 776    
25 Oct 2018  #13
I have never seen a male teacher at Polish przedszkole but there were a few at my elder kids primary school.

I had a great male teacher when i was about 8 - sadly hit the bottle when his wife left him and died an early death :(

I try and have Dad time wit each of my kids at least a couple of times a week, even if its just a walk in the park and a pizza. I se quite a lot of Polish dads do the same

How did this thread survive the night without becoming a discussion of rape gangs and sharia law ?
Miloslaw 6 | 1,534    
25 Oct 2018  #14
How did this thread survive the night without becoming a discussion of rape gangs and sharia law ?

Because Dirk and Rich are banned..... :-)
cms neuf - | 776    
25 Oct 2018  #15
Ah ! Great ! Lets enjoy it while it lasts
Jaskier    
25 Oct 2018  #16
There are few reasons why man don't go for child care that often.
We can start with the upbringing. Boys are not thought housework and caring for siblings etc. That's reserved for girls. That's generalisation of course but mostly true . When I bought a doll for my son my mom (who's generally quite open minded) said ' but he's not a girl, he's a boy'. So how a boy who is not allowed to care for a doll even if he wants to ( and my son loves feeding the doll, putting it on the potty etc.) are supposed to grow up into adults who care for kids?

The earning possibilities are quite limited and, what's even more important, almost zero chance of gaining extra income if needs be. Subject teachers can at least give private lessons.

In my Uni there were, I think, 3 guys on Pedagogy and only one graduated.
The social agreement is that women are always better carer for small children and man shouldn't interfere with that.
So if you put together the social awkwardness, little appeal of the job and low earnings it's no surprise we have few male child carers

Btw Maf, I think Doug was talking more that somehow priests were ok to spend time with kids while with other man, as you said, it's not the case. Nothing to do with CC being singled out in paedophilia (even if, in my view, if they want the good aspect of being the biggest and almost any religion in Poland they should take the bad part too)
Dougpol1 27 | 2,579    
25 Oct 2018  #17
I think Doug was talking more that somehow priests were ok to spend time with kids

Well yes. In the days before vetting, my dad would pop down to have a ganders at the church set-up and decide for himself. So off I went to Sunday school at the C of E. Hated it of course - still can't hold a note:)


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