Sunday, December 20, 2009
My 5th period class has a number of “energetic” boys. Some of them I know for sure struggle with ADHD and are usually on medication which helps increase their focus and productivity, but they sometimes forget or cycle off it for various reasons. Today when I was teaching that class, I called three people up to the front of the classroom to explain their work. When I looked back, I realized they were all boys, and they were not the best behaving boys. In the moment, I called on them because I knew they had the right answer to a question and each could explain something a little differently. I also knew that they would all benefit from receiving positive attention, either because they had low math confidence or because it would redirect their usually disruptive behavior into something productive. So I have good reasons for calling on them. But as I look back I realize that I did not give that opportunity for the spotlight to some hard working and very focused girls. I took for granted that with our without that opportunity they would continue to work hard because they were internally motivated. So today I presented an example of a “well-meaning” teacher perpetuated a cycle of favoritism towards boys in a math classroom.