Men are severely underrepresented when it comes to teacher numbers in our classrooms, but Penrith Anglican College is bucking the trend.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of male teachers across the country has been progressively declining with the percentage of male primary school teachers in western Sydney schools sitting at just 15.9 per cent in 2014.
But at Penrith Anglican College, male teachers make up 40 per cent of the teaching staff between Year 2 and Year 6, with at least one male teacher in every year across these years.
Year 3 teacher at Penrith Anglican College, Luke Przydacz, said it’s important to have male teachers in the classroom.
“Having positive male role models as teachers and being intricately involved in the education of young children is extremely important,” he said.
“Male teachers bring a different dynamic to teaching; they are able to connect with students, interact with them and mentor them in a different way.”
Mr Przydacz said it’s disappointing that the trend at Penrith Anglican College isn’t being replicated elsewhere.
“It’s a little disheartening to know the number of male teachers is declining because they have so much to offer in the education, growth and development of young children,” Mr Przydacz said.
“I think it’s important for young children, boys and girls, to experience men engaging and guiding them in their learning and to see males valuing education themselves.”
84.1 per cent of the teaching staff in western Sydney primary schools are female.
Penrith Public School has just three male teachers across 18 classes, while St Mary MacKillop Primary School has just four male teachers, including the principal and deputy principal, out of 30.
Kingswood Park Public School has two permanent male teachers and one casual male teacher across kindergarten to Year 6 and the preschool.
“It’s important for students to experience direct care and concern for them from someone outside their immediate family and also for them to witness positive and professional interactions between male and female teachers,” Mr Przydacz said.