I now manage a highly successful nursery class in Falkirk Council's Bo'ness Public Primary. As far as I am aware, I am the only man in Scotland to teach permanently within the nursery.
I had expected a negative response from the parents of Bo'ness but was amazed to see how wrong I could be. First, their children accepted my gender without question. It is the P1 teacher who is now referred to as Mr when in fact she is a Miss! Second, and most unexpectedly, the nursery stopped being a place for mothers alone, and became an open door for all parents.
Dads long for their days off work to sign up as parent helpers; Dads make appointments to discuss how to help their own children at home; Dads attend early intervention workshops and help to make book bags. I need never worry about putting up my own shelves!
The nursery has become gender free, and this interest and enthusiasm in education continues into P1. An observation from an outsider is that the boys have started to recognise education as a role for themselves, and are working alongside the girls within the writing and reading areas.
Yes, we need more men in the nursery sector.
Stephen Glen-Lee Muirpark Drive Shieldhill Falkirk.