Teaching Teenage Boys

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a secondary school teacher (that’s high school teacher to my friends across the pond). I qualified two years ago. My teaching practice was spent in an all girls school (coincidentally the same school I myself attended) and then I worked for two years in another all girls secondary school (same-sex schools are quite common in Ireland).
Teaching girls is great, but there are downsides. The positives are that they are usually quite well disciplined and respond well to routine, rules and structure. They are also mainly polite and courteous. On my last day in my previous school, I received countless (okay, seven) thoughtful gifts from lovely, grateful students. I genuinely miss those girls.
The downsides to teaching teenage girls? Teenage girls can be moody. They also can hold a grudge for days on end over the most trivial of incidents. Despite this, I enjoyed my time teaching them.
My new job is in a co-educational school. It is my first experience teaching boys. And boy, is it an experience. Although the boys are much more difficult to control and a lot less responsive to rules and to general instruction, they have a bit more fun in them. Now this is of course a generalisation and doesn’t apply to *all* boys and girls. It’s just my experience so far.
To be honest, I was dreading teaching boys. When I was a teenager, the majority of my friends were boys. They were great friends (and still are) but they they were lewd, loud, obscene and the majority of what they said and did ranged from mildly offensive to unrepeatable. So the night before I began my new school, all I could do was remember my friends regaling my with stories involving projectiles of a paper variety and their female teachers. While the male students have been challenging, they have also been fun.
Today, for example, I had a chat with them about Grand Theft Auto V. It was inconceivable to them that I would know what a Playstation is, least of all actually own one! This revelation has made them much more open and animated (in a good way). I find that if I do have to correct them, they do react quite well. In summary, they ain’t so bad.
I’m also writing this from the comfort of my own home, rather than tied to a chair in a supply closet. So that’s always a bonus.

3 thoughts on “Teaching Teenage Boys

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