Gender Differences in Learning

I remember my post from a couple of years ago where I placed a disclaimer at the beginning asking for people to NOT email me with ‘the exception that disproves the rule’. The post was published in Dec 2019 (Teenager Emotions – Some Intriguing Research) and talked about how teenagers processed their emotions differently than younger children and most adults. Yes, we could always find an exception to the general findings — people are complex like that — but, that does not mean that a general relationship or trend isn’t evident.

I feel like I should probably start out this blog post with the same request.

I’m going to be talking about some research suggesting there are differences between how boys and girls learn. So, to qualify things before I receive comments or concerns, I am not saying that EVERY child will fall into this binary description. Children are diverse like the rest of our population and do not automatically fit into stereotyped boxes of ‘boys’ or ‘girls’. Even suggesting that there is this binary world of only two genders does not fully acknowledge the spectrum of gender identity in our world.

The messages I want to share with you today are meant to provoke thought about how CHILDREN learn differently. Feel free to even take the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ away and think about them as ‘differences amongst children’.

(More on Page 2)

2021 Year-end Reflections : The School Year, Star Wars & My Dad

Where to begin?

The 2020-21 school year has been … ummm … let’s call it memorable. We can throw in exhausting as well. This past year I’ve written a lot about the pandemic — its effects on us, what we’ve learned from it, and how we might grow from it. I’ve written a total of 17 posts since August and 6 of them have specifically referenced the pandemic.

It’s been on my mind. I’ve never blogged so consistently about a topic in one year.

In case you’re wondering, here are the posts:

Some of my other blog posts from this year didn’t actually mention COVID or the pandemic, but honestly, the link was there if you wanted to find it — for example, the one on the importance of being kind (We’re All Fighting a Battle – Apr 2021).

The point I’m making is this …

There hasn’t been a day that went by where we were not thinking about the pandemic, worrying about the pandemic, or wondering about what comes next in the pandemic.

It has consumed everyone this year.

And for me, it has been quite cathartic to have my blog where I can crystalize my thoughts and share them with you. But, I also hope that it has been helpful for you to know what I’m thinking and processing during this year of incredible change and opportunity.

(More on Page 2)

Year-end Reflections – Lessons from Yoda (Star Wars – v.2)

As this school year draws to a close I have begun to reflect on the year that has been — and its importance to my personal and professional growth. And because I love Star Wars — I have now connected some of this learning to the wise and articulate Yoda — master of the Jedi Knights.

Jedi Master Yoda

So, without further ado … here are some of my 2018-19 reflections as Superintendent. May the Force Be With You:

YOU WILL ONLY FIND WHAT YOU BRING IN

Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Yoda and Luke

Yoda told his young apprentice (Luke Skywalker) to not take his anger, fear and weapons into the dark cave as bringing these would only result in conflict. His words proved to be prophetic.

In life we bring both our negative and positive experiences to a current situation. I reminded myself this year to leave my negative reactions at the door and remain open to new ideas, thoughts and opinions. Fear and anger do not open doors, but close them.