1.       This chapter seemed different than the others, since the author actually offered solutions to both parents and principals.  What did you think of her suggestions?  Why might she have skipped offering suggestions to teachers?

2.       Are her points about the inadvertent disadvantages valid to you?  Do you take issue with Tyre’s assertions?

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At some point in time boys do need to write legibly, collaborate well in groups, and be organized. At what grade should this be an issue? Some expectations are legitimate and I don't think we should "look past poor work habits...to encourage boys academically." Of course fancy report covers, or artistically attractive maps drawn free-hand are not criteria for grades, unless it's an art class grade.
Being patient and understanding of a young boy's lack of organization and neatness is certainly necessary, but he should also learn to set goals for improvement when developmentally ready. How do we figure out what the expectations can be, based on age?
I don't take issue with any of her assertions, but it's beginning to sound like we should revamp the educational system because the boys aren't making the grade, when maybe they need to face reality and work harder. I thought males had a more competitive nature. Well they'll need it because now they actually have to compete.
I truly believe that study skills need to be addressed by each teacher. Instead of a notebook for each class, why not a loose leaf binder that has subject dividers so students only need ONE notebook, and every paper gets three-hole punched instead of a folder for this and a folder for that. When you are done with Chapter 6 you have the kids take those papers out of the notebook. Why not have a box of pencils and/or pens available for the students instead of wasting time? Get the "toughest kid" to collect them at the end of class; Harry Wong said that type of student will make sure you get EVERY pen/pencil back. If they need lined paper, have it. Six teachers with different expectations can be overwhelming, so why not focus on the student's learning and forget about his/her organizational abilities right now. Is it your job to teach Responsibility or Social Studies?

When a child's parents just send him to school because it's the law, we have our work cut out for us. Not all kids come from homes of parents who had positive school experiences themselves, and the kids may hear negative things about school, teachers, and principals. There may be no incentive for these students to do well, unless we find one. I think Tyre should give more practical advice, like she did in Chapter 11. It's okay to point out what's wrong, but how do you make it right? Maybe a follow-up book.
As I mentioned at yesterday's book club meeting, I think colleges need to prepare teachers for "The trouble with boys" by requiring a more in-depth study of human growth and development, with focus on gender. Research-based information needs to be gathered first, I suppose, and then reconsider what needs to be learned so a teacher can be prepared.
Beautifully-articulated, Kathy! You gave me an idea: let's share people's responses with the author! If no one has any objections, I'll do that.

I agree that different teachers having different expectations can be especially challenging for many students. As a parent, I dislike having to wait until after Ben meets all his teachers to find out what he needs in the way of school supplies. (I've never understood how people can do their back-to-school shopping before we actually go back to school!) Even teaching in the primary grades, a child having to juggle more than one folder can be a study in logistics for them. And I have always been uncomfortable with disciplinary consequences for being "unprepared." Giving detentions for minor infractions such as not having a pencil or a signed paper seems like overkill. Yes, children need to be taught responsibility, but it is difficult to develop trusting relationships with students if they feel like school is a punitive place. Your idea to not waste valuable class time getting ready to learn is spot-on.



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