Every year, every grade, in every class I ever taught, girls out-achieved boys -- and it wasn't close. I'm surrounded by women and girls. I have a wife, two daughters and two granddaughters. No sons. No grandsons. Even my doggie, Kihei, is "my girl." So I'm drawn to astute advice for girls and women (which almost always ends up being astute advice for boys and men, too). Which is why I've been paying close attention to Reshma Saujani who founded Girls Who Code. (Without knowing how to code!) She has a book and podcast. Both are called Brave Not Perfect. Sub title: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder. I downloaded her podcast and listened to her interview Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (A.O.C.).
What Should We Talk About?
My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.
It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.