|Note the plethora of books in the butterfly net. He’s ready.|
Almost every day for the past week has started the same:
“Do I get to go back to school today?”
Now granted, I know that all of our kids are special snowflakes and when they do something it’s the bestest thing ever and better than any other little kid doing the same exact thing. No, seriously, when EZ pooped in the potty for the 1st time, I almost held a parade
But, for me, this is beyond being fiercely protective of my son because he’s mine, and more about this general idea that boy are intellectually slower than girls that has seeped into our society (and by extension – school systems).
I’m not suggesting that there aren’t biological differences between boys and girls. I know there are. Books have been written about these difference suggesting they begin as early as the womb, and studies are always looking at the differences between male and female brains. However, regardless of the biological differences between the sexes, acting upon these theories in a way that could potentially affect them negatively in an educational setting makes me bristle.
I want a teacher to look at my child and see his potential, and not rely on the generality that boys are slower learners – that already puts him at a disadvantage. It could be as subtle as not starting to work on reading or math sooner, or over compensating with over the top attention when he manages to do something correctly.
In the end, we chose a school that happened to be a perfect fit. EZ’s teachers look at him as an eager kid, full of questions and potential. They don’t teach towards his gender, and in fact, in the two years that he’s been there, not one teacher has made a comment about the supposed slow pace at which boys learn, or how he learns “as a boy.” We’ve had discussions about his struggles with fine motor skills and his accomplishments in reading. Neither time were those skills, or lack thereof, connected to the fact that EZ is a boy. They were simply presented as “this is how your child is doing.”
This Friday, EZ finally goes back to school. He’s beyond happy, and I’m thrilled knowing he’ll be walking into a classroom that views him as an individual, rather than a sum of his parts.
|EZ at his birthday celebration (blowing out the “sun”) at school last year|