Male role models in tutoring, Craig Rose - 19th November 2020 As a white man who’s been to university, I’m no stranger to hearing about my privilege. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t realise just how lucky I am. I’ve never been a victim of prejudice, or had anyone flat out refuse my job application because they’re too narrow minded to tolerate who I am. Why are you writing this? I hear you scream. Well, the simple reason is that this isn’t about me. It’s about the tens of thousands of boys from working class backgrounds (like myself) whose aspirations and attainment are hindered by a dire lack of male role models in the teaching workforce. It’s about the fact that, in recent months, I’ve slowly come to realise that what I’ve always taken for granted (i.e. getting the most out of education and moving into a job of my choice) may not have always been so certain after all. Someone like me… This is brings us to the importance of role models. It’s the same problem as the lack of ethnic diversity on TV, or the lack of gender diversity in science. People – not just men, or women, or people of colour, but all people – set their aspirations by looking up to people like them. We need people like us to open our eyes and show us that something is possible. People like us allow us to dream. Statistics suggest that men make up just under a quarter of the teaching workforce (slightly more in secondary, slightly less in primary). From my own experience, I know that I was remarkably lucky to be taught by the only male teacher in my primary school (at the time), an experience which most of the boys in my school year never had. When I look back, my year in his class had a profound impact on my development, as I was finally able to model my behaviour on a teacher who I felt was like myself. Skip forward to high school and again I was lucky. There was roughly a 50:50 split between my male and female teachers, and I was able to discuss my future with men who, like me, wanted to continue their education after school by going to college and university. Of course, university isn’t for everyone. I know plenty of men who’ve decided to go into apprenticeships or trades, following male role models from outside of school into desirable careers that they recognised as possible. Where you come in.. That’s why we need more male tutors at Tutor Trust. The close relationship between tutor and tutee is the perfect opportunity to provide disadvantaged male pupils with strong male role models: people like them who open their eyes to different avenues which, whether they choose to pursue them or not, they have at least weighed up as possibilities. Maybe you also remember the positive influence of a male teacher and want to step into his shoes for a new generation of disadvantaged pupils. Or maybe you have no such memories but want to change that by giving our pupils the role model that you never had. I don’t want to be a teacher… One thing that we think puts a lot of people off working for Tutor Trust is the myth that we’re a training ground for aspiring teachers. Of course, Tutor Trust is uniquely equipped to help you out if you decide to follow that path. But teaching experience isn’t necessary and free training is provided. In some ways, a tutor who doesn’t want to become a teacher is a bonus: they can act as a role model for pupils who want to go into higher education but don’t want to teach. As someone who doesn’t want to teach, I know I’ve got a uniquely rewarding part-time job with lots of opportunities for extra (or even full time) work. Unlike, say, retail jobs I’ve had in the past, regular training sessions go beyond learning the latest stock list. I’ve developed skills such as leadership, planning, and communication both in training and in schools. The hours are very flexible: while they want you to do some tuition, you have the final say over the hours you work and in which schools. And to be frank, the rate of pay is excellent – at £19 per hour, it’s not only good for a student, but also much more than you could expect in most entry level graduate jobs. Why not give it a go? If you think a part-time job at Tutor Trust is for you, especially if you’d make a good male role model to disadvantaged pupils, why not have a look at our ‘Become a tutor’ section to find out more about the job and what The Tutor Trust can offer you, as well as the difference you can make. Remember, you don’t have to want to be a teacher! If all of our tutors wanted a career in education, our pupils would only see one possibility of where further education can take you – we want our pupils (and tutors) to dream big and think outside the box when it comes to plans for their futures!