I’ve missed girls. I would never have thought that, but it has been refreshing having them in my classroom again.
I was so excited last year at the challenge of an all boys class in a co-ed school. But a year later and back on a regular mixed gender 5/6 class, I realise how much I missed having females amongst the group. And I’ve missed them for all the typical generalisations!
Girls are quieter workers. Ahh near silence, oh I’ve missed thee. Boys like to chat about their learning, constantly. It’s true what they say, girls whisper, but boys shout!
Girls are neater and take greater care with their presentation. Let’s face it, most 11 and 12 year old boys are not interested in adding colours and embellishments to work. Drawing detailed pencil works yes, but colours, borders headings, that’s girls territory. I’ve also noticed the power of setting an example. I have 5 boys from last year, and by constantly celebrating and showing work with a high level of presentation those boys are now taking more care, writing neater and adding a little bit more colour.
Girls are more peaceful and caring (sometimes!) I have a lot of gentle, peaceful, helpful girls and it’s amazing seeing those traits spread through the class and help keep it settled!
I feel renewed again this year, back on a co-ed class after last years’ challenges. My teaching has definitely improved after having an all boys group and I am already implementing some of my ‘boys strategies’ in my 2011 class. Here’s hoping it will be a great year ahead!