Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Teaching Boys Makes Me Embarrassed to be a Man
The longer I work with elementary school kids the more painfully obvious it becomes just how much slower and over-all dumber boys are then girls. I mean honestly when do boys start become somewhat thoughtful and self-controlled human beings? It certainly isn't before the 6th grade.
When I give the simplest instructions I find most of the girls only need to hear it once while the boys need to hear up to three times and often individually in order to understand. This is in large part because most of the boys cannot stay focused on any one topic for more then 20 or 30 seconds. If they are not looking at me directly in the eye then I truly don't know if they heard me.
They take so much pleasure in doing anything and everything that pops into their heads. I find them under the desk, on top of the desk, constantly throwing things, drawing on the table, stealing each other's stuff, playing fake sports with imaginary balls, making paper airplanes, poking each other in the side or on the back of the head and then pretending not to have done it, pushing and shoving one another and of course bothering the girls in any way possible. Further they think they are sly and clever actually believing they are hiding what they are doing from my co-teacher and I.
While there is certainly frustration involved in trying to teach these boys I think what bothers me the most is the sheer embarrassment I often feel when I am around them just for being male. I can't help but wonder, since I don't remember, how old was I when I started being able to use my brain for something productive and focus on any given task? If these boys are any indication it was not for a long time.
I'm glad the schools don't give up on boys or I wouldn't be here but one thing I have certainly gained from being a teacher is an even greater respect and appreciation of the female sex.