The Trouble with Boys: Have our schools progressed?
Conferences are right around the corner and I'm waiting anxiously; hopeful that this is the first year where we hear more good than bad. Being a mama to an energetic and emotionally-charged 7 year old boy in grade school has at times been very challenging, if not all-consuming. We've heard it from all sides - teachers, family, and friends - wondering if the level of intensity of his emotional outbursts was appropriate for someone his age. I cannot tell you how often we've heard, "At (insert age) he still shouldn't be (insert behavior)." Being the mama to not one but three boys, as much as I've tried not to, I found and do find myself falling into the pitfalls of our society expectations of how boys should behave, leaving little tolerance for the natural high activity level of boys.
Kindergarten was rough. The traditional school setting definitely was not a good fit for him; and I wonder if it's good for most boys. Even with a change of schools and different teaching approach, 1st grade was still rocky. He had a difficult time in certain classes and with certain teachers. He was a child that was on the verge of being labeled as special needs. Despite his issues, we really liked his teacher and her willingness to work with him and all the children on creating a cohesive classroom environment. In hindsight, I wonder if his teacher being gone for a good chunk of school due to illness really disrupted the dynamics of the class.
This year, in 2nd grade with the same teacher and clear expectations, he seems to be hitting his stride. He's doing much better and the emotional outbursts have been minimal. I cannot say that we've made any huge changes in his life like therapy or medication, but what I think has happened is that it has taken him a bit longer to mature emotionally. Are you the parent of a boy? What has your school experience been like? Do you feel schools are really progressing to work with boys?