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Male Teacher Shortage

Leroy Johnson's been teaching for 29 years. He's one of five male teachers at Havana Elementary School, and a rarity in this female-dominated profession.

"Most men don't have the patients that is required to be teachers you have to be a policemen, a judge, a mother, a father, a friend, you have to be all those things,” says Leroy Johnson.

School officials say throughout the state of Florida it's become increasingly difficult to retain male teachers because of the low pay.

"The commissioner wants to move towards rewarding teachers for high performance and for taking additional responsibilities in the classroom so hopefully all those things will increase teachers pay and get ore quality teachers to stay in the classroom," says Francis Marine.

The National Education Association says the number of male teachers has reached a 40- year low. Only 21 percent of the nation's three million teachers are men. Still, school officials say it's important for men to be in the classroom as a role model for students.

"There's a real need in education to have a male role model because many of our students do not come from families who are male. They come from single parent families and are lacking and viable daily contact who is a male getting males in the classroom is extremely important,” says Rocky Pace.

"I enjoy doing what I do I don't think there's any other job in this whole world that's truly gratifying than teaching children,” says Johnson.

Experts say many men are drawn to secondary schools where there are opportunities such as coaching, which allows them to supplement their incomes.


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