Author: Wang, Tsai-Wei, Chang, Te-Sheng
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
Many studies have reported intrinsic, altruistic and extrinsic reasons for teaching as a career choice for the prospective teacher. However, few of the male teacher candidates view a teaching career as a short term or transitional job rather than a long-term vocation. The major purpose of this study is to listen to the stories of male pre-service teacher education students’ intentions and motivations to enter the elementary teaching profession and become an elementary school teacher. Moreover, this study is also aiming to explore their beliefs of an elementary teacher. Employing ethnographic methods particularly interviews, twenty-two male pre-service teacher education students undertaking a teaching certificate program at three different universities in Taiwan were invited to tell their career choices and perceptions of teaching and teachers. Their narratives revealed that love teaching, like to work with children, teaching suits individual personality, prior teaching experiences, encouragements of significant others, working conditions, teachers are well paid, teaching allows to influence the next generation, a teacher can affect students’ future, male role models for boys, and teachers are well-respected in society were among the most significant factors that affected these Taiwanese male pre-service teacher education students’ choices for teaching. These male teacher education students wanted to be a teacher and viewed a teaching career as a long-term vocation. Furthermore, they believed a great teacher is warm, sincere, kind, enthusiastic, patient and trusted, who cares and listens to students. A great teacher encourages open communication with students, who positively inspires and encourages students to strive for greatness. A great teacher respects the dignity of the personality of each student, treats students with sincere attitude, pays attention to students’ individual differences, and gives them fair chances to develop their potentials. The heart of teaching not only increases academic achievement for all learners but also teaches students how to behave. A great teacher behaves him/her all the time, who sets a good example for students to helping students become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens. A great teacher always stands by the students, to guide and support them. A great teacher would never stop learning, professional development could improve one’s skills and abilities as a teacher and give students the best. The study gives a deeper understanding about males who are actively choosing to teach. It also offers new insights into how to encourage young men to engage in teaching over time.