Are Boys Getting the Short Stick in School?

I’ve been seeing quite a bit about issues for boys in school. One piece I read asked “what is your ideal student? Did you describe a girl?” I was kind of surprised to realize that, typically, an ideal student is one who is quiet, compliant, raises their hand politely, etc.
this pretty much describes our female students.

Many of the boys in my classes are very bright. However, the behavioral expectation for them is to sit quietly and let the expert in the room (the teacher) provide them with knowledge. Now, that’s not my usual teaching style, but lately, that’s what the curriculum our school district is using dictates. I try to have students discuss with their group at times, but overall, the textbook requires me to be up in front, explaining the content. Since I’ve been told to follow this curriculum “with fidelity”, I can only modify occasionally.

All of this got me thinking: would it be helpful for students (boys in particular, but girls are also antsy at times) to have treadmills, exercise bikes, etc in the classroom. My husband pointed out that we got a new treadmill, so we have an old one in the basement that could be taken to school. I’m wondering if this would be a good idea, or if it could lead to trouble down the line. The noise of a treadmill might make it difficult for students to hear the lesson. Students might fight over who’s turn it is to use it. Might they also get so involved in their “workout” that they forget to pay attention?

I don’t have a solid opinion about this, but it seems like a question woth asking. What are we doing to make school “work” for our boys?

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4 thoughts on “Are Boys Getting the Short Stick in School?

  1. Joyce says:

    Working parts could be a danger (fingers pinched, etc.) but sounds like a great idea if you have space!

  2. Gallit Zvi says:

    I don’t know about a treadmill…but I like this idea, in general. What can I add to my room to make it better for the boys?
    I have beanbags and they do like those a lot!
    Maybe exercise balls…maybe just more physical brain breaks…
    Thank you for getting me thinking about this!

  3. Kirsten says:

    Our school has implemented a school-wide program called SPARK for 30 minutes every morning the entire school is in the hallways doing arobic stations. We have excersise bikes, bosu balls, exercise balls, and dozens of stations where you don’t need any equipment. Walk the halls like a bear, a duck, a crab. Do 30 jumping jacks. Lie on your back and peddal your imaginary bike. Do 20 burpees. The idea is to get your heart rate up, and move continuously for 30 minutes. We have seen a dramatic increase in our students ability to focus afterwards. The afternoons are comparatively very hard, and I’m sure it’s because we don’t do SPARK. This is important for boys, girls AND the teachers.

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