Letter to the editor

Why should the culture of a school change?

For women working in boys’ schools and the rise in the #metoo movement, change is necessary. Our students in all-boys schools have to learn how to work in a society that is gender balanced and diverse. Women will be supervisors, bosses and CEOs. Learning how to respect the female teacher, administrative and support staff of a school will impact how successfully our boys will navigate their way in the world once they pass through the school gates for the last time.

Some people might have been upset to see the article presented about women working in boys schools, but from first-hand experience it is time that many of the points raised in the article were aired. We need good men to speak up and support the many inconsistencies presented.

We are presented with PD at the beginning of the year explaining the need for consistency in approach to uniform, behaviour, learning behaviours, speaking respectfully to students and within a blink of an eye inconsistencies are evident with many allowing the behaviours to slip and if, as a woman, you raise it you’re viewed as a nagging and complaining woman. We either have standards or we don’t.

If a female teacher is reasonably requesting that a student adjust a behaviour, they don’t need a male teacher to intervene, saying “they’ll handle it from here”.

We need our boys to see that all people should be respected, rules have been put in place, usually by the predominantly male administration, for a reason – so everyone should be expected to follow them. We need our men to see the impact of casually ignoring some things. It’s the little things that can grow to be a much bigger problem.

Our boys need to be held accountable for actions. All teens push boundaries and play authority figures off against each other. We need to stand in solidarity to improve the chances of our boys to flourish in every aspect of life and respect all humans.

We need to empower our boys to become well-rounded good men of the future, so we need our good men to demonstrate being the best selves they can and supporting our good women to be empowered. Everyone in a school is impacted by the behaviours of others and everyone has a role in nurturing and growing our good men to be the best. Learning to accept women as leaders and be respectful of consistent practitioners in the field of education, the stronger our society will be.

I have been educating boys for nearly two decades and successfully raised a well-rounded son and nephew, now adults of whom I could not be prouder. I teach boys because I know I make a difference and I am passionate about making the world we all live in a better world.

Name witheld

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