The first newsletter of the school year. The teachers introduce themselves to the students and families.
This newsletter focuses on how the gender teachers choose their student of the month.
In the September volume of our gender newsletter, the team building activities are featured. Also, the teachers talk about what is happening in their classrooms.
Please note: The newsletter is in three parts this time due to size. Pages 2 and 3 can be found to the right as attachments.
This newsletter introduces the parents/guardians to the teachers and coordinator of the gender program.
Newsletter #1 2010-2011
Welcome back!! This school year starts Jefferson’s fourth year with gender specific classrooms. Jefferson created the gender specific classrooms to minimize the social, emotional, and romantic distractions that naturally begin during early adolescence. Separating boys and girls can make for more comfortable classrooms, where both genders are more willing to take risks, speak up, contribute answers, express uncertainties, and ask questions. The gender specific classrooms provides optimal learning opportunities for students while (1) improving student achievement; (2) decreasing student’s discipline issues and (3) increasing student attendance.
I want to take this opportunity to answer three questions that are asked quite often about our gender specific classrooms.
Question 1: The real world is coed so isn’t it obvious that school be coed?
Answer: Most coed middle schools and high schools are very unlike the real world. In a coed classroom, even with the best leadership, how you look or act seems to count more than who you are. This dynamic is minimized in a same-gender classroom. In the real world, how you look is less important than qualities such as competence and professionalism.
Question 2: If it’s wrong to segregate students by race, why is it OK to segregate students by gender?
Answer: Offering same-gender education in public schools is about expanding choices, not restricting them. The Supreme Court also has affirmed that gender differences enjoy a privileged status under law which race does not enjoy. Parents are the best qualified to decide what’s best for their child. This new option opens up opportunities for same-gender education that have traditionally been reserved for those attending exclusive prep schools, which are cost-prohibitive for most families.
Question 3: If I opt-in to this program for my child will they have any classes with the opposite gender?
Answer: Our program is designed to address the academic areas of math, language arts, science and history. All other classes will continue to be coed.
(©2006 NASSPE; reprinted with permission)
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our guidance deans or Sara Franklin, gender coordinator, at 525-3176.
Newsletter #2 2010-2011
Gender Differences in the classroom
A question that our teachers are asked all the time is: What do gender differences mean within the classroom? I will summarize the differences that we have researched and some insight into our classrooms within Jefferson. Please note: Every student is different and has their own way to learn.
Boys’ eyes tend to focus on the motion of objects and cool colors while girls’ eyes tend to focus on the description of the objects and warm colors.
In our classrooms: Teachers use their own movement as an instructional tool. They are aware of their own use of colors as well as student choices.
Girls tend to hear better than boys and hear tones better than boys.
In our classrooms: Teachers are aware of their own volume and tone during instruction. They check to see if students are being distracted by loud work time.
Boys’ engagement tends to be more dominant with the sympathetic nervous system (known as the fight or flight system). Girls’ engagement tends to be more dominant with the parasympathetic nervous system (known as the rest and digest system).
In our classrooms: Teachers are aware of students’ need for movement and use these moments as instructional opportunities. They incorporate a variety of ways for students to complete tasks and demonstrate their learning.
Girls tend to process events and information in analytical and emotional aspects, considering differing perspectives more often; boys tend to process events and information in an either/or perspective.
In our classrooms: Teachers are aware of the overall climate of the classroom environment. They provide opportunities for students to make connections between content and applications to their own lives and raise questions about the material.
Boys tend to respond to appropriate instructional stress with alertness and action; girls tend to respond to appropriate instructional stress with anxiety more often than boys.
In our classroom: Teachers are aware of competition, time and pace as instructional factors within the classroom.
If you have any questions about our gender program, please contact the guidance dean or myself.