Are We Shortchanging Boys?
I am tired of hearing parents blaming teachers for their children's failure. Playing the blame game is not an effective strategy when you are not doing your part as a parent. I have witness parents curse out teachers and administrators for their child's poor grades without claiming responsibility on their part.
Right now, we have a crisis with boys of all races who are under-performing in school. We, moms of boys, need to partner with our children's school to address any challenges they may be facing.
I have even heard parents state that if teachers had better cultural understanding, their child would perform better academically. Instead of worrying about whether a teacher can relate culturally to his/her students, we need to focus on getting real professionals in the classrooms who are sensitive to the fact that boys and girls learn differently. My son has not had an African American teacher until his 7th grade, this however did not impact his academic or school experience.
I chose to put my son in public schools that offered diversity and had teachers who loved their job and empowered their students. If my son encountered any problems, the teachers and I would work with him to develop a plan for success.
Let's stop the finger pointing and the blame game and look to see where we as a society went wrong in educating boys. Although the problem is more prevalent among African American boys, we can not deny the fact that boys in general are not excelling as well as girls. Most schools work against rather than with boys'natural inclination as kinesthetic learners. Forcing boys to sit still and be docile is not only unfair, it is unproductive. Boys are more frequently diagnosed as ADD/ADHD and have lower reading and writing scores and higher drop-out rates. If we keep pretending this is not a real issue, we will soon see fewer men on college campuses.
So the bigger issue is not whether a boy has a teacher that can understand him culturally, but whether he is being given the proper tools to succeed in school. We need to push for reform, so that the academic problems of boys are dealt with properly. We need more books in the classroom that are interesting to boys, we need to have more male teachers in early education, we need to better understand the behavior of boys, so that we do not continue misdiagnosing them as ADD/ADHD.
What are your thoughts?