A mini-post because Eurovision is getting on my nerves and my next proper post isn’t ready for public consumption yet.
A Mini-treatise (yes, something of an oxymoron) on the Hypocrisy of School Boys.
Year 9 is the worst year to teach – that’s just a fact. It’s all hormones and hyperactivity so finding something to interest them takes a lot of trickery and gimmicks. My solution so far has been lots of film clips and totty. Yes, you read that right – totty.
After a poetry reading assessment where they all worked hard and did well, I set them a task to devise and perform a court room scene as part of their speaking and listening practice. Naturally, this meant that they had to watch the whole film Legally Blonde not just the courtroom scene at the end. The boys went wild. Every time Reese Witherspoon was on the screen there were ‘Phwoor’ type noises and the part where she was in her bikini, well, it was nearly a riot in the classroom.
The girls and nice polite boys rolled their eyes in exasperation but that was the extent of their reaction. To be fair, the nice polite boys did grin and look mildly embarrassed at certain points.
A few weeks later, we have moved on from role plays and I am introducing a scheme of work on Shakespeare by studying Shakespearean insults. Obviously, I have to show them a clip from Henry IV where Prince Hal and Falstaff are having one of their legendary ding dongs. Using the BBC’s Hollow Crown production of it may have been a mistake. When Tom Hiddleston came on the screen you would have thought he’d just walked through the door. The girls screamed and ‘Oh my God’ed like you would not believe.
It was the boys’ reaction that made me laugh the most though (after I’d paused the film and settled them down again, of course). Their outrage was a living palpable entity in the room. It took longer to quieten their protests then it took to calm down the girls’ excitement.
Now, admittedly the girls’ reaction to seeing totty on the whiteboard was more dramatic than the boys’ but the girls quietly endured a whole film of it whereas the boys couldn’t cope with a short loud exclamation of approval. I’ll put the possible reasons for this out for discussion. What do you think? Is this sexism in our society? Or just jealousy on the part of the boys because they don’t elicit such a response from the girls?