Does A Teacher’s Gender Affect Student Success?
I’d like to see how this article stirs your thoughts. It’s written by Richard Whitmire entitled “Why Boys Fail: is the answer to the ‘boy troubles’ recruiting male teachers?”
I think Richard’s article raises very interesting thoughts on the impact (positive or negative) with regard to gender and student success. His first acknowledgement is that the particular academic skills being taught are what will determine the success early on with boys. Reading tends to be harder to develop with boys than girls and incorporating specific reading skills to help boys at an earlier age will help them to make the transition more successful…whether that’s by a female teacher or a male teacher. His second acknowledgment deals with the non academic things such as character and behavior. I certainly don’t disagree that a male teacher can teach and model things to boys that a female teacher simply cannot. I think it’s especially important in the elementary grades to have male teachers helping in this capacity along with teaching. It not only shows that male figures can do very well in the elementary classroom but they can also have an impact on boys socially and behaviorally.
With many boys now being raised in single parent households, these boys may never have a consistent male figure to learn from yet school is a consistent during this time in their lives. I know that we continue to ask more of schools and teachers but in a sense I don’t think they need to do anymore than just being present as a male adult. Kids are picking up cues everywhere…all the time whether we know it, acknowledge it, deliberately set it up or not. Having a more gender balanced team of educators (not jus administrators) helps not only students, it also helps the team expand and grow. We all know that males and females think differently don’t we?