When I heard I was being placed in a boys school I couldn’t believe it. As a linguist I spend a lot of university teaching time thinking about how to engage and enthuse boys in what is essentially a feminine subject, so you can imagine that I went in the first day with a fair amount of trepidation. However, I have to admit to having been very pleasantly surprised with how much I’ve enjoyed the process of teaching just boys.
For a start, I’m teaching German. Boys seem to very much prefer German to French, but I haven’t yet reached a definite conclusion on why that could be. Theories include the fact that German is more logical (these boys are quite geeky and love maths), that French is a more feminine language or that there’s something about the teaching of the two subjects that makes the difference. Anyway, the boys do seem to enjoy it and (so far) will go along with most of what I tell them to do.
For another thing, the wonderful thing about teaching boys is that they don’t hold a grudge. Even if you give them the bollocking of a lifetime they forgive you for it, even going so far as to still like you half an hour later.
I also like the fact that uniform misdemeanors are easy to correct. Do up your top button, tie your tie properly, tuck in your shirt – these are easy and straightforward commands to follow. There’s no dithering about what it an ‘acceptable’ length for a teenage girl’s skirt or how much make up is too much. This is good, from a purely practical standpoint of course.
But what I like the most is the pure joy of being around boys. They are straightforward creatures, they’ll tell you the truth if you’re daft enough to ask, they get stuck in to what ever you put in front of them and all they need to create settled lessons is a good run around at break and luch time.
At the moment I’m loving it – but I’m seeing a less well behaved class tomorrow, so I might feel differently after this.