Well the Botox was a conversation a parent was having with someone about all the stuff she wanted to do to make her face look good.
But in the staffroom. I was just talking about handwriting and the KS1 teacher was saying "well, that's typical boys". The deputy head said casually along with me "you can't say that" but that was it. I have just started working there so did not want an argument.
Then the biscuits. Same teacher was "banning" people from the biscuits because everyone was on a diet. Except the one who was "skinny" because she needed building up.
Staff room conversation is mind numbing at times. In my old job I was driven to the point of early death by hearing about: the 5:2 diet, whatever the fuck that involves; "what a good boy" pregnant woman's husband is for putting the fucking kettle on, making a meal, etc; crass innuendos between male teacher and certain TAs ("pass me those balls please, mrs jones." "Eeeeeee I'd love to grab your balls!!" And so on.) Luckily I stoved my own head in with a hammer so no longer have to put up with this.
But OTOH, I am also doing computer workshops over the holidays and it is currently all boys who have signed up (well - their mums have made the phone calls to organise it. Not one Dad has organised it)
"big push on boys writing in general, including handwriting, to tey and reduce the gap between the genders."
I really don't get these 'boys in general' / 'girls in general' things. Surely it would make sense to have a push to help those who are bad at writing / handwriting, of whom the majority in a given class may (but may not) be boys?
I guess I feel more strongly about this because dd has always had the 'wrong' problems - poor motor skills/handwriting, uneven development, too dominating in group work - lots of 'typical boy' things.
Odd thing: my handwriting has never been calligraphic, legible if ugly was about the best you could say. Declined a bit as more and more of my work and writing came to be done with a keyboard. Still egible, just uglier.
Then I had surgery on my shoulder, coming up on five weeks ago. Don't know quite what they did in there, but for some reason my handwriting is a LOT neater.
Takver - these are recognised groups of learners that we have to highlight for school records, progress meetings, etc. So, everyone will be still doing the general learning but they will be a focus on key groups of learners in certain areas. Obviously teachers will know who in their classes need specific support even more, but the general LEA wide push/focus will still exist and be expected.
I also teach computing at primary - Key Stage 1. I used to teach secondary Computing (so GCSE/A level, etc) in the past. I have always been fortunate that I have always had a good mix of genders in my classes, and at KS1 the gender thing in computing doesn't seem to exist. Certainly our computer club has a mix of girls and boys through all three year groups.
I am finding that both genders are really enjoying the move towards much more coding.
I really don't get these 'boys in general' / 'girls in general' things.
Because they are gendered issues. Boys' literacy is a real issue nationally (GCSE English pass rates for girls 71%, boys 56%), and it's partly due to boys not engaging with reading, and with the slow start with writing due to motor skill issues.
Just like lack of girls' engagement with STEM subjects is a gendered issue due to them not being seen/sold as suitable subjects for girls.
As they are gendered issues, they need to be tackled in a way that acknowledges this.
In general, boys tend to develop fine motor skills later than girls.
In general, girls tend to be less drawn to STEM subjects.
Not all boys, not all girls. But from a teaching point of view - you can't just say oh, he's a boy, what do you expect? She's a girl, she'll be no good at science.
No - you have to ask why and make sure strategies are in place to help overcome these barriers. Why do boys tend to develop fine motor skills later - is it because they've been brought up to enjoy / do activities that develop gross motor skills whilst girls are brought up to enjoy / do fine motor skill activities.
That's a fair point, noblegiraffe. Its unfortunate though if that translates into all the boys in the class getting extra handwriting classes, and none of the girls, regardless of their individual needs.
That's the idea - especially with handwriting. I've worked in KS1 and I've done lots of activities so everyone can improve their fine motor skills.
Playdough is good. Dot to dot. Loads of strategies. But there is a noticeable difference. There are of course some girls with poor handwriting and boys with great writing. But you can see a difference.
And same for engaging in literacy - not boy friendly stuff but doing activities that help engage all children rather than assuming all the girls will be engaged regardless of the genre / story / theme.
'In general, boys tend to develop fine motor skills later than girls.
In general, girls tend to be less drawn to STEM subjects.'
I could be wrong, but these seem to me to be categorically different things. Being drawn to STEM is surely conditioning. Fine motor skills presumably could be conditioning (playing with certain kinds of toys, expectations etc.), but it's subtler, isn't it? Or do five year olds show a marked gender preference along maths/english lines?
Anyway ... that was me being distracted by a detail. I meant to post saying this judging of handwriting as a feminine skill is really damaging. I'm dyspraxic, and my handwriting is truly terrible, although I can do calligraphy quite reasonably if I take the time. I remember the almighty shock I got when I went to an all-girls school and was suddenly told that it wasn't enough for writing in an exam to be legible: marks would be removed if it wasn't elegant, too.
Disturbingly, even then, I knew - because my granny told me - that there was research coming out showing that examiners judged neat, 'girly' handwriting to be less intelligent. And yet, the school still set us up for that fall.
I cannot help feeling that focussing on fine motor skills to 'help' the boys up to level is not going to solve that.