Does His School Celebrate Boys?

If it does, you’ll know it.

If it doesn’t, keep reading.

If it does, you’ll see students working in open spaces with active and inter-active learning being encouraged.

If it does, you’ll know that behavior management doesn’t include taking away recess.

If it does, you'll know teachers are armed with knowledge to understand and celebrate the unique ways that boys learn - so differently than girls.

How do you know? Start looking here:

  1. What is the ratio of female to male teachers? Will your son have at least one male teacher before he leaves elementary school?

  2. Who is sent to the principal’s office? How many are boys? What are the misbehaviors? What are the consequences?

  3. How much recess and other outside time is scheduled?

  4. Do classroom teachers give frequent movement breaks?

Boys are in Crisis

A disproportionate number of boys struggle to master basic literacy skills, sit on the bench outside the principal’s office, get labeled hyperactive, and receive failing grades. –K.King, Writing the Playbook

Take 5 minutes to watch this video created by a Gurian Institute certified trainer to highlight the alarming statistics that affect our boys every day.

The following statistics show the failure of our schools to understand and meet the needs of boys.

Early Childhood and Elementary:

  • Boys are expelled from preschool at five times the rate of girls.

  • Boys are 60% more likely to be held back in kindergarten than girls.

  • Boys are almost twice as likely to repeat a grade.

  • By kindergarten, one in four black boys believes he will fail in school.

  • Boys make up 70% of special ed. students.

  • Boys are 4 - 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Middle School and High School:

  • Boys are 30% more likely than girls to flunk or drop out of school.

  • Seventeen year-old boys underperform in reading by 1.5 years of school.

  • Boys are twice as likely to be suspended as females.

  • Boys are 4.5 times as likely to be expelled as females.

  • Black males are 6 times as likely to be suspended as white males.

  • Athletics is the only extracurricular activity where boy’s participation exceeds girls.

Worried yet?

We are.

Experts from around the globe and here in America are relentlessly advocating for deep changes in how we are raising boys. We need the groundswell of support similar to the one girls experienced in the mid-70’s.

This kind of advocacy begins with you – parents who are raising sons and who don’t believe they have to fit into a system that was largely designed to educate in the way that most girls learn and that does not fit most boys.

With a predominantly female teaching staff (93% of elementary school teachers are female), many schools just don’t get how boys learn. Boys are active and social. They learn in smaller chunk-sizes and move to mastery later than most girls, especially in reading and writing.

What can you do?

You must educate yourself on these issues – share gender-friendly information with your school’s teachers and administrators – when you approach this topic in the spirit of collaboration and support, you’ll find a receptive audience.  What teacher doesn’t want to spend less time on behavior management and more time on teaching?!

Ultimately, YOU must be the one to say:

"I want a better way for my son and all of his peers.  Let’s work on this together."

Together we can make a school that fits both boys and girls and supports them to be their best!

Educating yourself is your best defense!


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