Sunday, October 10, 2010

On being different...

(cross-posted from Morse18)

Each day I arrive on a campus swirling with blue blazers. My bright colors pop against a back drop of navy and khaki. Boys tower above me, many almost a foot taller than my 5′ 3″ self. My voice reaches their ears at a different pitch, less bass, more melody.

Teaching at a boys school is both a joy and a challenge. There are times when I feel my gender dramatically and times when I am just another faculty member on campus. I’ve never before been a visible minority. In my previous coed schools, not only were there girls, but most of the faculty were women. I didn’t stand out in any way.

Working here has given me some sense of what it is like to “represent” a group of people, to speak for my gender, to help boys hear a different perspective. I’m certainly not alone in this. I have many female faculty members who have paved the way before me and help me everyday to fit in and find my place. My male colleagues have made this a comfortable and welcoming place for women. Finally, I thank the boys who treat me with respect and welcome what I have to offer as an educator, regardless of what I am wearing (which most of them don’t notice anyway).

8 comments:

Mr.Mc said...

What an interesting insight to a most unique teaching assignment . Thanks for sharing Liz.

Mr. Lauer said...

Nice post... How do the boys like your new glasses? :-)

Charlie Roy said...

As a graduate of an all-male college I always felt that environment made us perhaps more attune to gender differences than less.

Brenda Muench said...

Great picture here! It told the story before I even read the post. Nicely done.

Liz Davis said...

Mr. Lauer,
I don't think any of my students noticed the glasses. Boys school hello!

Liz Davis said...

Charlie,
I went to Dartmouth in the late 80s which was still 70% male (despite going coed in the mid 70s). I think it prepared me well for Belmont Hill. There are times when I definitely channel my Dartmouth self at school.

Kelly Faulkner said...

wow - i bet they notice more about you than you think! i also teach at an all-boys school, and the students are very conscious of teacher appearance (both male and female). they may not say anything to you, but they certainly do talk among themselves!

love the photo - it spoke the proverbial thousand words!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I still can understand why there are so many single sex schools. What's the advantages? Please advise if you have the time. Thanks.