Monday, June 24, 2013

A Case for the Boys


I promise I'm not dead or have been shipped off to North Korea or anything.  Pretty much it's been a mix of laziness and being busy that I've neglected this poor blog.  I've had several weekend trips to Seoul, Busan, Hwacheon, and more in addition to my usual school work, applying for jobs, preparations for the YDAC Conference, arrangements for going home, speaking tests, etc., etc.

But I wanted to take a moment to talk about something that has been bugging me a bit lately.  As all of my faithful readers of my blog know, I teach at an all-boys high school.  And I absolutely love it!  When I proudly tell people I am meeting that I teach at an all boys school, generally the reaction is something like "Oh that must be so hard" or just awkward laughing and sympathetic looks.  This has quickly become one of my biggest pet peeves.

Even some of my ETA friends that teach here in Korea are very wary of boys and teaching them.  Boys have this reputation as these hyperactive, rowdy, mischievous, perhaps even uncontrollable group of students.  This isn't only the case in Korea, but in America too.  I think these expectations are potentially devastating for these students.

There's this stereotype that boys can't sit still, girls are smarter than boys, and other ones that I mentioned.  And frankly, there are quite a few boys that are living up to this expectation.  I've seen this in my own academic career.  For example, at my honors program in college, women had a significantly presence than that of men.  Approximately, ~30 women and ~10 men.  Even here at Fulbright it is a huge gap between men and women.  In my ETA class there were about 20ish men and 60ish women.  From my experience, men are just disappearing from the high-achieving academic world.

I really believe that teachers and society in general needs to have much higher expectations for males in education.  It happened with females a number of years ago and this obviously needs to continue, but expectations shouldn't be lowered for the male students. 

So simply excusing male students for poor behavior and simply writing it off as "Boys" as I saw recently on facebook, is simply intolerable.  We call it the "Self fulfilling prophecy" in the education world.  Students will meet the expectations that are given to them whether good or bad.  We need to have higher expectations for our male students.

Okay rant over haha.  It's just been something annoying me lately so I thought I'd let y'all know what I was thinking. 

Anyways, things are great here so please don't worry about my lack of updates.  I will be back in American July 14, 2013 btw!  Flying into Cleveland at like midnight or so.  I guess I can forgive you if you don't show up at the airport to greet me, but I'd love to see all of your happy faces soon! :D

1 comment:

  1. Here, here - very, very well said! I couldn't agree more. This pervasive attitude is not only detrimental during schooling years, but has tragically devastated the male role in the family where many males flee from their families.
    Thanks for stating this very well and for having the courage to say it.
    Very glad to hear you are doing well. Can't wait to see you.
    I'll be part of what will likely be a small reception at the airport considering the date an hour as you point out very well.