You As A Practitioner
What do you think about boys?
Below are typical examples of what people tell me about boys.
Try to think about the language you're using around the children.
Are you speaking positively about the achievements of boys AND girls?
Do you use words such as beautiful and pretty when talking to girls?
...and cool and amazing when talking to boys?
We talked previously about the low quantity of men within the 'caring professions.'
You do not need to be a man to be an effective role model to boys. Boys (in general) cherish experiences where they are able to express their interests and as a practitioner, if you can value these, they will respond to you.
David was always labelled as 'a typical boy.' He had a lot of energy, loved to get messy and was particularly fascinated with cars. His previous teacher has 'nurtured' this by always ensuring that cars were available within the provision area as well as paint on the easel. However after a few weeks of being in the setting, David began to 'act up.'
"He's a nightmare, he paints all over the walls and he's completely lost interest in cars now that I've put them away," his teacher said.
One particularly 'challenging' day the Nursery Nurse from the setting drove her car up to the top car park near the classroom, brought out a big box of her husbands tools and invited David to come and see. David tinkered under the bonnet, tightened nuts, filled up containers and then when all that was done he carefully cleaned the outside of the car.
The next day the same Nursery Nurse set up large brushes outside with colourful water. David was invited to 'paint' the outside walls. The mixture was such that the colour shone through for a few hours and this gave David a real purpose to his work.
David's teacher has not been able to explore his interests the way that the Nursery Nurse had. As it happened, many other boys joined in with the same play as David. Subsequently the whole team checked the environment for activities which tapped into the interests of their boys whilst still providing activities which supported their intended learning and ensuring the girls were did not suffer.