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).

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