Tag Archives: Girl World

Becoming a kind teacher

22 May

On Friday night, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Finding Kind, a documentary about aggression in girls.

We’ve been talking about bullying in class, and I thought the film would add an interesting element to what we’ve discussed, especially in the Middle School Learners course.

But I didn’t expect it to affect me so personally. I had literally blocked out a lot of the bad experiences I had in school, with girls being nice one minute and mean the next. I can think of three separate instances in which I suddenly without any friends because the girls I considered to be my “best friends” had suddenly decided they no longer wanted to be friends. I’m sure I was just as mean to other girls. Exclusion, gossip, name-calling, even physical bullying happen to girls, and it extends into adulthood. Our popular culture enforces it. Magazines scream at us about what female celebrity is fat, which actress is cheating on her husband, and who wore the ugliest dress to the Oscars. Reality TV focuses on women trying to outdo other women, and usually include at least one session of hair pulling/screaming/name calling (slut, whore, bitch, etch…) Our society has made it normal and expected to be a Mean Girl.

In her “Bill of RIghts for Girls” in Rethinking Our Classrooms, Volume 2, Mary Blalock says, out of 2600 girls surveyed, 60% of the elementary aged girls said they were happy with themselves, but only 29% of the high school girls surveyed agreed. What happens to young women between elementary and high school to cause such a shift in how we see ourselves? Why are we so mean to each other, when we should be helping each other out?

The book Queen Bees and Wannabes, by Rosalind Wiseman, is an exploration of why teen girls act the way they do, and how parents can help them survive their teen years. As you may know, the book was the basis of the movie Mean Girls. If you haven’t seen this movie, please do. Not only is it hilarious (as it should be, since it was penned by the one and only Tina Fey), it is also a pretty spot-on depiction of “girl world” in high school.

Ms. Wiseman talks about the movie and the book:

She has since re-written the book, including information on how “girl world politics” affect younger girls, and how technology is affecting girl-on-girl bullying. Cyberbullying is becoming more and more of an issue in schools, and no one seems to know how to deal with it.

So, bullying exists. Girl-on-girl bullying is a big problem that doesn’t get as much attention, because it’s usually not physical. However, it can cause lasting harm. What can we, as educators, do about it?

After the screening of Finding Kind, the audience had the opportunity to fill out “Kindness Pledges” in which we could pledge to spread kindness. The audience was about 95% female, with girls as young as 8 or 9. A few women and girls stood up to read their pledges, just as girls and women do in the film, and in the Finding Kind workshops that happen all over the country.

Here’s my kindness pledge:

I pledge to model kindess in my daily life. I pledge to show my students that kindness is always the best policy. I pledge to stop judging other women before getting to know them, and to stop using derogatory words like bitch, slut, and whore. I pledge to be kind to my students, friends, co-workers, colleagues, and even to strangers, because everyone deserves kindness.

 

Here’s a final clip from Mean Girls, because Tina Fey just says it so well:

(plus, hilarious.)

 

Advertisements
My Thoughts

Just another WordPress.com site

THE PLEASE CATALOGUE

between thought and expression lies a lifetime.

Teacher Post Script

Reflecting on my learning

PE teachers

Physical education in Finland and elsewhere

The fascinating world of the Orca K-8 school garden!

Sustainability, social justice, and organic agriculture at a South Seattle Public K-8 School.

Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere

I have no idea why I picked this blog name, but there's no turning back now

Learning to Fold

a work in progress

I Speak Math

Integrating Technology and Mathematics

Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Teacher, Author, Speaker, EdTech Advocate

The Jose Vilson

Educator - Writer - Activist - Father

dy/dan

less helpful

ponderinged

Just another WordPress.com site

Teacher in Training

Just another WordPress.com site

newtoteach

Just another WordPress.com site

Elementary Thots

Thoughts on elementary education.

teach2learn4equity

Theoretical and Experiential Journeys of a Teacher in Training

youjustgotschooled

My journey of getting schooled