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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
— Plutarch

Educators stand with parents as crucially important first role models for children.

With dedication, love and care, teachers powerfully influence both young boys and girls as they begin to understand themselves, each other and the broader world.

Particularly in primary education, this role often falls to women; 87% of educators at this level are female. Understandably, the only frame of reference they have to gauge what behavior is “right” or “wrong” is their female viewpoint.

That makes it easy for women to understand girls and their development.

But boys can seem downright confusing!

They’re high-energy and struggle with sitting still, and listening seems to be only on their terms.

Most teacher training programs don’t include curriculum on the differences between how boys and girls learn, develop, and communicate. In fact, the topic is rarely even mentioned. Yet it can be a crucial component in teaching success. 

For all boys, this means they are being judged on a set of expectations they don’t understand.

The expectations and rules don’t fit the ways they relate to the world.

They’re struggling with the restrictions of the traditional ideals of school success, and statistics show they’re being left behind: 95% of students referred for disciplinary actions are boys, and more boys than girls are being expelled and dropping out.

“Boys are programmed to move, make things move,

and watch things move.”

—Louann Brizendine, author of The Male Brain.

As a hardworking, well-intentioned educator, you feel confused, out of ideas, and devastated for the boys you can’t seem to help, and possibly even feeling like a failure yourself.

You—and the boys you teach—are not failures!

The solution to this crisis begins with recognizing that current school structures often don’t fit the needs of every student.

Boys aren’t inherently wrong for learning differently than girls. When you understand the mismatch that boys experience on a daily basis, you are better able to make needed adjustments in your own viewpoint, your lessons and your classroom expectations that will help BOTH boys and girls feel acknowledged and be more academically and socially engaged. 

Through evidence-based strategies incorporating neuroscience and communication skills, plus decades of experience, I guide you in developing more specific action strategies for your students and give you the tools you need for immediate implementation.

There are multiple opportunities for educators to connect with me, including in-person and online professional development, on-site observations and online resources.


Professional Development

With 20+ years of experience working in schools and with teachers, I bring a wealth of insight and information to your educational conference or professional development session.

I am a dynamic speaker who believes in engaging educators with wisdom, warmth and humor. I understand the challenges facing educators today and have developed strategies that are effective and easy to implement.

I offer a breadth of knowledge on a variety of topics and masterfully design each talk to address your group’s specific issues and solutions.


Faculty Conversations + Classroom Observations

With more than 20 years of experience in education, I believe in being the catalyst for the tough—and necessary—conversations schools need to be having if the current trends of boy-failure are going to be reversed.

I partner directly with your staff through frank and honest discussions about school culture, personal perspectives and willingness to change.

My school visits include on-site observations that allow me to get to know your school culture, and acknowledge what is working well and recommend needed changes.

I guide your staff in implementing more boy-friendly strategies and strengthening teacher-student relationships, resulting in boys who experience school as a place where they truly belong.

And when boys are thriving, girls benefit, too.

To learn more, browse our Blog for invaluable insights on guiding and serving the boys in your care, listen to recent episodes of my ON BOYS podcast, and visit the Services page for information on courses, coaching and more.

This year, we invited Boys Alive! to work with our staff and families in response to a “gender gap” that has emerged in our school’s discipline data. Janet Allison was a knowledgeable and responsive partner. Janet took time to assess and understand the needs of our community, and was flexible and accommodating in developing a service plan that worked for us. She took calls from teachers, visited classrooms and provided feedback. She conducted both teacher and parent workshops, reviewed our schoolwide data, and provided leadership consultation to the administrative staff. Janet has wide and deep knowledge about the challenges facing our boys and shares this knowledge in accessible and supportive ways. As a principal and as a mother of a young boy, I learned a tremendous amount from my interactions with Janet this year.
— Emily Glasgow, Principal, Lewis Elementary School, Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon