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Posted on Mar 15, 2011

Faculty Consider Girl/Boy Differences, Bullying Behaviors, and More During In-Service Day

March 3, 2011

As we return from winter break this week, I’d like to revisit the February 18 in-service day that was dedicated to socializing knowledge among faculty and staff. Preschool through Grade 1 teachers heard from Terri Emberling about boy and girl play; early childhood teachers discussed Emilia Reggio methodologies and how they apply at Gillipise; and upper elementary faculty teachers discussed how to help children socialize appropriately with peers as well as how student progress reports and portfolios can be used to capture and track academic progress. Below are some take-aways that resonated with our faculty: Why is “cave time” so important to boys? If a young man has made a “bad choice,” his fight-or-flight response stemming from his brain’s amygdala may not allow him to look an adult in the eye or rationally process his emptions. Better to allow him to walk away to find his quiet place (cave time) or use his energy to make amends (e.g., get an ice pack or pick up the thrown blocks) and then talk about what happened and why at a later time. What is the connection between bullying behavior targets and victims? All children will be targets of bullying behavior at some point in their lives. Children can be given strategies to lessen the chance that they will become victims and these strategies include empowering bystanders to take an active role. How can we help girls to counter certain cultural stereotypes? Even as young as eight or nine years old, girls can become preoccupied with weight and appearance (often sexual in nature). Allow girls to discuss their impressions of media messaging. Also, support your daughters as they participate in team sports that flex large motor skills and build camaraderie and psychological endurance. Encourage young females to speak up and make their case when they want something; avoid the message that “good girls” don’t argue. Much fodder for thought was provided at our various sessions, allowing us to learn and grow as a community of educators. Alison Fleming Head of School
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