Societal norms of what it means to be a boy or girl are highly prevalent in schools. Growing up, I remember my teachers always diving my class into boy lines and girl lines wherever we went. I also remember some of my teachers commenting on the girls being more well-behaved and the boys as being more rowdy and hyper. At the time, I was too young to understand that many of my teachers had attached their own views to us students and what it means to be a boy or a girl. We have also been taught that girls are supposed to be “lady-like” and boys are supposed to be a gentlemen. I don’t remember ever reading a text that involved a gay boy or girl. In fact, the first school book I’ve read that included same sex relationships was in college. I knew there were people of different sexual identities, but it was never taught. I think the differences in sexual orientation should be touched on a little bit so that children can feel more accepted in the classroom. I do admit that I don’t know how I would go about this topic but I do think it is important for children to learn about, because I might have children in my classroom who will have gender identity issues and I want to be well-prepared to handle the matter in a correct way.
It is also uncommon to teach children through activities involving personal experiences. By having children talk and learn about others personal experiences, it will also help to break down cultural stereotypes and biases as well as gender issues. The more that children share their stories, and learn about others, the more well-rounded and accepting they will be. Many children have access to pretty much anything on the internet, and I wouldn’t want any child to base their views solely on the outside world or what they see on their ipads, which is why its so important to have these talks.