Wednesday, November 30, 2005

talking about gender with sixth graders

I love my sixth grade peace games class. Ms. Mauve, as I'll call her, is a shining example of a non burntout cps veteran. I've heard her raise her voice, but never yell. She nearly always sits next to whoever the biggest troublemaker may be on a particular day and hangs out with them and her level of participation in our class is perfect. Sometimes she'll make a quip or clarification here and there, but more often she just thanks and congratulates her students when they participate well.

Here's the other thing, today was our second and final week discussing gender: how it is different from sex, how we place values on the masculine and feminine continuum, stereotyping and I definitely heard the word 'transgender' explained to at least one of the classes last week. The kids wrote poems about the opposite gender last week and they came out more or less as one would expect/the same as a group of nineteen year olds.

"Girls are pretty Girls are
neat Girls are picky Girls do there feet.

girl-are ungreatful and some
like to show and some stupid."

"Girls are very ellegant. Grils are emotional. Girls are very polite. Girls are attractive. There also tricks and stupid. They are also creative. There wanna-bees. They have good manners."

"Some boys are fine.
Some boys are nice some rock ice
Some boys are nasty. disrespectful.
Some boys are smart
some boys are very dumb
some just ugly!!!"

"Boys are cheaters.
Some boys are cute, some are ugly, some are strong. Some are week. Boys are rough and some bother. Some are funny and some are boring. They never care about there girls. Some are disreaspectful and some are gentlemen. Boys, boys, boys!"

-oh and all is very much -

So THIS week, we reviewed the difference between sex and gender and the definition of stereotypes and the students went back into their groups to give a response which defines their own sex rather than write of the other. It was pretty amazing and here's my two favorites:

Girls are...

Girls are pretty
Girls are fine
Girls are nice so am I.
Girls are not stupid
Girls read magzine
Girls were bling, bling.
Girls are different and so is
Our Pride.

We think nice and we think mean cause we don't think all boys are clean.
We go shopping while the boys go hopping.
and, as far as I'm concerned, the winner

Some things that the girls said about us were disrespectful. Us boys know we can be mean and disrespectful but girls are the same. Us boys think that the girls shouldn't judge us by our looks. They should judge us by our personality. Some boys can be funny and romantic even though were ugly. Mostly all the cute boys worry to much about football or sports. But some boys worry about school and there family, and our group are the ones that think about school, family and some of the girls. You know sometimes a boys got to do what a boys got to do but that doesn't mean we like to hurt you girls. Sometimes us boys can talk about sports and leave the girls out but it doesn't mean we dont care about the girls feelings because we do. Sometimes we can be bossy and the girls can be bossy too. Sometimes us boys can send a girl qa flower and that showshow much we care about them. Even though sometimes you guys start to talk about boys and sometimes boys like to talk about girls but we still love the girls

Later we were doing a class discussion about what stereotypes or feelings the class agreed with and the same boy who wrote much of the above asked the class if they thought that boys could be as romantic as girls.
"Define romance." Miss Muaved chirped in-

"Well like, I could set a table on a beach and serve her dinner while the sun sets... oh and I would bring roses too."
So yeah, that kid is twelve and Im clearly a terrible scrub.

Shoot, wasn't this whole post just the skits in 'the miseducation of lauren hill'?


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