I recently started a job as a before and after school site director. Every week day (that there is school) I get up at 5 a.m. and go to a local elementary school. By 6:30 a.m. parents begin dropping their children off so that they may go to work. I then have these kids, somewhere between 3 and 18 of them, and ranging between the ages of 4 to 12, until the bell rings at 8:50 a.m.
From the moment they are dropped off, until the moment they head to class, these children are mine, as they are my responsibility. During their time with me they participate in a variety of activities that range from board games, arts and crafts (they love Perler beads), to physical activity games in the gym. After school, it’s the same process, except we do homework/reading before the fun and games start. It isn’t the easiest job but it could be a whole lot worse.
The other day was back to school night which meant all the teachers stayed at school. My kids and I were in the cafeteria as always when a teacher walked in and asked to borrow two of my older boys to help her move chairs. Seeing as they were doing homework I told her that she couldn’t have those two, but she could have two others instead.
Before I could even get the words out of my mouth, three of my girls very excitedly volunteered. To the girls' surprise, and even my own, the teacher looked at them and then looked at me saying “Uhm... No... That’s OK, I need more of a... more muscle.”
Then she left.
The three girls just looked at me with these confused and hurt faces. One of them then said “Well, that was rude” at the same time that I said to them, “Girls are just as good as boys; you can do anything the boys can.” The three girls then proceeded to talk about how girls are stronger/better than boys before going back to their game.
While girls are not actually better than boys, we’re striving for equality here not one over the other, I was not about to crush these girls any more than you already had.
It's great that they were able to just let your ignorant comment roll off of them like that, but to the teacher that basically told these girls that they weren’t strong enough, how dare you.
How dare you say that.
How dare you come into my space, ask to borrow some of my kids to help you move chairs and then turn down three volunteers.
How dare you say that you need more muscle. You may not realize this but that little act basically just said girls are not strong, boys are better.
How dare you do that to them?
Lucky for you, these girls know better but I hope you never say something like that to anyone else. Not everyone can look outside the box that society has put them in and recognize that they are better and worth more than that.
As a teacher, it is your civic duty to educate young minds and to place value on each student. It is NOT your duty to place archaotic, sexist notions on those same young minds. You were also moving chairs, how hard is that to do?
In closing, if there hadn’t been a room full of students I would have put you in your place. I am not one to disrespect my elders but when it comes to something so blatantly sexist I generally refuse to hold my tongue. So one last time for good measure, how dare you and I hope you never do such a thing in my presence again.