Ongoing Strive to Reinforce the Male Teaching Population at Elementary Schools

Bill L’Orange, a first-grade teacher gave the readers of LIFE magazine, a glimpse into the life of a male-elementary school teacher. It was 45 years ago when he invited LIFE inside his classroom and shared the world of a child and also of a male-elementary school teacher.

During those times, male elementary school teachers were rare and their laurels unheard. L’Orange entered the teaching profession in 1967 during the time when a male-elementary school teacher was as rare as a blue diamond. The only difference being the blue diamond is rare it becomes valuable as opposed to the male teachers whose rarity was because of them being undervalued. Even though, the American society had tasted a slightly increased involvement of the male figures at home as well as in the teaching profession.

The LIFE magazine stated in its cover story on the publication of Oct 5 “The traditionally sex-typed school system has had its impact on children,” and that "Eighty to 90% of all children who have difficulties in school are boys, and the absence of a male figure is seen by experienced educators as an important factor."

A program called male project emerged out of a government-funded study. It worked on to create awareness about the significance of male teachers in schools. It became an advocacy group which tried to get the fact accepted that presence of male and female teaching figures in schools holds alike importance.  

This idea is relevant even today as the world is still struggling to maintain a decent number of male teachers in schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics in a survey (2011-2012) of public school teachers found that 76% of the teachers were females. A male educator told USA Today “All students benefit from diverse teaching perspectives, and gender roles are a big part of that."