While no offense was intended towards female teachers, it was pointed out that education is, essentially, a female dominated profession and that many of today's children grow up in homes without a father figure. In essence, boys are not learning how to be men.
The point of all of this was the importance that male teachers have in education - as they may be the only positive male role models that a boy has in his life. I should also point out that the person leading this discussion is a woman.
I tend to agree with this premise. The fact of the matter is that boys will be boys. Boys and girls are different. They learn differently, they respond to the same stimulus differently, they solve problems differently. Boys tend to be more competitive and aggressive. At the same time, boys tend to not hold a grudge as much as girls. Two boys can get in a fight one day and go back to being best friends the next. Two girls get in a fight and they're giving each other the silent treatment for the next week or so. I don't mean this to sound like I'm dissing girls - just personal observations after being a father of 4 children and working with teenagers for most of my adult life.
But, we try to teach boys to be more sensitive, less aggressive, less competitive - in essence, too often our society expects boys to think and act more like girls. Typical male behavior becomes the object of jokes.
Anyway, this got me to thinking - will I be a good male role model?
- While other men talk about last night's football game - I'm blathering on about American Idol
- While other male teachers will get out and play ball with the boys - I avoid such because, frankly, I throw balls like a girl
- While most men are left brained - I am right brained (as are most women) and think right brained
- While many men are very competitive - I tend to be more passive
Mind you, while I do have some OGT's (Obviously Gay Traits) - I also have some straight male traits as well
- I hog the remote while watching TV
- I love going to Home Depot and Lowes
- . . . um, that's all I can think of for now
I'm not suggesting that this will have any impact on my effectiveness as a teacher. I'm only looking at my effectiveness as a male role model. Overall I'm pretty straight acting; and, I doubt I set off gaydar to a casual observer. But, once you get to know me, as my students inevitably will, my OGT's begin to become evident.
Or, perhaps being exposed to a male who isn't doing all of the things that our society says guys do will show the students (both male and female) that men are far more complex than society makes them out to be.