Saturday, June 15, 2013

Don't confuse me, for I know - it's the name of the game (Badfinger)

Teaching girls is an art that I am slowly slowly adjusting to. I think the girls understand this. They are a perceptive bunch.

While we were on the way to the football game at Havelock North High School on Wednesday - one of the girls, apropos nothing, asked, "You haven't taught all girls before have you".

Clearly I have a lot to learn.

Maybe she caught an expression on my face. I am definitely a walking wysiwyg.

I was caught during a pastoral care staff meeting with a blank look on my face last week as well. While wearing that expression I glanced at two of the women staff sitting next to me and they burst out laughing!

Clearly I have a lot to...oh...I've already said that.

With all that in mind I am turning to google to help me out.

There is a lot of good advice on line - here's something I like from a research paper:

Girls show greater interest in communication from an early age. Baby girls will hold eye contact

much longer than baby boys. Baby girls study faces within weeks of being born and seek to

make eye contact and gaze at faces which increases over 400% over the first 3 months of life.

(while boys don't have the same motivation). At just 4 months old, most baby girls can identify

photographs of people they know from strangers.

Girls tend to receive information from a wider range of sensory input with more sensual detail

memory (smell, taste, touch, sound). Girls tend to hear better than boys. They are sensitive to

'tone of voice' used in conversation (heightened hearing ability) and have more sensitive skin -

for touch and pain than boys. Because there is a primacy on relationships, communication is


I think this is proving to be one of the things I am adapting to. More on this subject:

Girls generally learn by talking-thinking-


Often girls need to discuss an issue in small

groups and then need some time to think

about an issue before applying the knowledge.

Try to structure most activities for girls in the

sequence of talk-think-do.

I like knowing this though - legitimises what is developing in my classroom as the girls start to trust me more. I'm aware this will be a lengthy process. This term is all about settling in and gaining that trust.

It's proving much harder to do this with my form class - they only see me briefly three out of five days. This makes it really hard to set up a rapport. No wonder they are standoffish and slightly begrudging and, let's face it - rude at times.

They are a Y12 group and set in their ways. Nevermind - I'll just have to keep at it and wait for them to adjust to me I guess.

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