Monday, August 11, 2008

Good Question

I just read this article in Daily Babble. The article makes some great points about the sexism in the childcare and education industries. I agree that children benefit from male role models and need more of them.

I know that at my school, the male teachers seem to be much more popular than the female teachers. The fact that so few of my students have involved fathers probably has something to do with that. The novelty factor is important, too.

But the sexism regarding these industries is a problem. My brother-in-law is a teacher and an assistant football coach. My father still thinks that it is not manly to be a teacher, and it kind of drives him crazy that his son-in-law teaches. He definitely appreciates his being a coach (this is the South we are talking about), but since he's not a head coach and therefore still has to teach, that's not enough for my dad.

It is hard not to be afraid of men, though. I have to admit, that even though I love when there is a changing table in the men's room so my husband gets to change Emiko, that a little part of me worries there could be some leering man in there with his cellphone waiting to take pictures of my baby girl. This is crazy, I realize, and it doesn't stop me from letting my husband change Emiko anytime there is a table for him to use. But the thought still crosses my mind. It makes me mad.

And I don't blame men (or anyone else) for not wanting to be teachers. I don't get paid very well -- especially as I am required to live in the city of Chicago to teach here. Chicago is not an affordable city.

But it is even worse for daycare workers. I take Emiko to an in-home daycare, and we pay $200 per week. That is about the best price you can find for a licensed daycare that isn't scary. We love her daycare. Of course her provider deserves more money -- she gets $40 per day, which breaks down to less that $5 per hour per child. That is pitiful. I wish I could pay her more. She deserves more. She takes extremely good care of my baby. That is worth far more than $5 per hour.

I am not sure how to conclude this entry, other than to again lament how things are in this country. I still believe things can get better, and I certainly appreciate how involved Obama seems to be with his daughters. I also like the speeches he has made regarding paternal responsibility. So that could be a start. But we have a long way to go.

No comments: