I enjoy working with children, and I'm a man.
By John Putala
For some people that title may not be shocking, but others are incredulous about a man wanting to work with children. Notice the language I used. I could say, “I like working with children” but I could never say “I like children” or, the worst one, “I love children”. I might as well tell people I'm a creep and pedophile and bypass the sinister assumptions.
So first an introduction; I'm a white, middle class, well-educated, man, who looks like your average “manly guy”. I've worked in construction, as a handyman, cook, and do many other hyper-masculine things. However, I got a bachelors and masters degrees in psychology (mostly focusing on family issues), and have worked as a babysitter, preschool teacher, minister, social worker, administrative assistant, and a youth mentor; fields that are usually dominated by women. My whole life I have found myself bumping up against expectations of what it means to be a man.