In 10 years of teaching I have had 1 girl who could be construed as a
behavior problem. And then only in how she behaved towards the other kids on
the playground. That's not to say that I don't have to shush the girls as much
as I do the boys, but in a different way. The boys tend to act out all their
problems in class AND on the playground. They are also very reluctant to talk
about their misbehavior and usually try to lie their way out of it or pin the
responsibility on someone else. Physical violence and harassment is commonly
committed by the boys towards each other and towards the girls.
In my 3rd grade class I've also had more sexual harassment than I ever thought
possible! The biggest problem in dealing with boys misbehavior, I have found,
is that the parents are VERY unsupportive and very protective of their boys.
Very few parents are willing to have their sons take responsibility for their
behaviors and attitudes, thus, reinforcing them.
The parents of girls, on the other hand, more often times come down very
hard on them (the girls), especially if they are being punished for behavior
that does not fit the female stereotype. They tend to be less defensive about
their daughter's behavior. This isn't always the case, but has been the case
with me and my students (over 500) over the last 10 years.
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