By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the economic decline in 1939-1942, more men entered K-12 teaching than is the case today, despite efforts from President Obama to encourage black men in particular, to teach in urban schools.

Not only low salaries, but it’s been suggested that the status of teachers is low today and “teacher bashing is a national pastime.” Although girls are encouraged to enter male-dominated fields such as engineering and math, boys are given less incentive to explore working with young children.

According to Education Week, male elementary and preschool teachers are often accused of being “not masculine’’ for choosing to work with young children and are seen better as disciplinarians, given students with more challenging behaviors.

Teach for America has recruited 28% men, hoping they’ll remain after their two year commitment. However, the 2011 US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that men comprise only 18.3% of elementary and middle school teachers and 2.3% of preschool and kindergarten teachers – depriving kids of good role models.

Watch & Listen LIVE