Through My Female Lens- Boys Part 1

My Female Point of View

I work with boys but I also work with a lot of women. These women, and I, are in charge of all of the boys. A few years ago we learned about how we are actually quite different from our male pupils and that we view their behavior with our own gender, and often over protective, lens. Wrestling on the playground, swinging from the high bars, being shot by a lego gun, frightened us- not the boys.
Hiring male teachers was the first step. I would lean over to a male faculty member and ask , “Are they just playing? “Yes,” was frequently the answer.
We also listened to the boys. As I reprimanded a group for pushing during a catch game, one exclaimed, “You just don’t understand us!”
As we learned about our lens and examined our own feelings, we realized it was our own discomfort that was bothering us- not the boys behavior. A strange thing happened. We all relaxed. In consequence, the boys relaxed. The did not become out of control. They became themselves. We allow talking in the hallway (even running), we allow movement in the classroom- and we allow more aggressive (oops my interpretation) play.
We still cringe at certain times- and speak up when we are really uncomfortable- but learning about our gender filters hasĀ helped us become a boy friendly community.
Next installment.. guns!

This entry was posted in boys and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Through My Female Lens- Boys Part 1

  1. Kent says:

    Your post got me thinking last evening about the last few days. In particular, yesterday.

    We were on a nature hike and our guide had specifically said, “Please don’t pick anything up on our hike today as this is a natural habitat” — you get the idea. For many of our most fidgety, rambunctious students this presented a challenge. I intervened on more that one occasion with, “Let me show you how to photograph the moss on the tree, rather than pick it off the tree”. This seemed to work, although a temporary fix.

    The upshot of all this is that the most rambunctious, fidgety boy, the one I had taken a moment to show how to photograph the moss, walked over to me in the classroom at the end of the day sat next to me and proceeded to read me two picture books! I was thrilled and made eye contact with the teacher immediately and we both “got it”.

    I’m pretty sure it was the relationship I had developed with this young lad during our hike yesterday that precipitated our impromptu reading session. Now if I can only dream up another “method” for the next time.

    You probably have dozens of stories like this. Thank you for your post and getting me thinking about our boy learners!

  2. mhutchinson says:

    Your reply has the power of the story that my post did not have! All that digital storytelling must be rubbing off!
    I also think that it is the really rambunctious, fidgety boys that teach us the most- but that the rest, who are wasting a lot of energy trying to fit into our expectations, benefit just as much as we adjust are parameters of comfort.
    I cannot tell you how often I hear co-ed teachers complaining about their boys. I find boys to be an absolute delight to teach and want to tell the teachers- look at your own behaviour to find the key!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *