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 has helped us become a boy friendly community.
Next installment.. guns!
- backward planning
- boy gender play
- critical friends
- digital storytelling
- Educon 2.3
- essential questions
- faculty meetings groups
- ipad storage
- photography apps
- photography twitter flickr plp project october
- picture books
- professional development