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Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers

The podcast designed to speak encouragement and truth into the minds and hearts of educators, and get you informed and energized for the week ahead.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Sep 3, 2023

I recently read a powerful book called, “Of Boys and Men: Why They’re Struggling, Why We Should Care, and What We Can Do About It” by Richard Reeves. It’s not the first piece of media I’ve consumed about the crises men are facing in the U.S. right now, but IS the first I’ve seen with a deeply comprehensive, intersectional understanding of the problems AND practical solutions.

In this episode, I wanted to open a (hopefully ongoing) conversation about this topic, sharing what I learned from the book and what educators should be aware of when considering how to to support the boys in their classrooms.

I’ll discuss:

  • Just a few of the ways in which outcomes for men are lagging behind those for women, leading to an increase for men in fentanyl and opioid use; deaths of despair; unwillingness to enter college or the workforce; and vulnerability to groups that push harmful misogynistic ideologies
  • How older millennials, Gen X, and Boomers may be unaware of how much boys are currently lagging behind girls in key areas of success because the opposite problem was more prevalent when we were younger
  • Why acknowledging that structural and institutional support for boys/men does not negate the different types of support that are still needed for girls/women
  • How schools can use redshirting, male staff members, and vo-tech programs to improve outcomes for boys
  • What unlearning needs to happen around “women’s work” so that activities/careers coded as female are seen as desirable by boys (and are better compensated for everyone)
  • Why the opening of doors for girls in STEM fields needs to be paired with role models and opportunities for boys in HEAL fields (health, education, administration, and literacy) 
  • Why we can’t keep condemning “toxic masculinity” without offering a broad range of possibilities for healthy masculinity
  • How educators can be conscious of the messages that boys receive about what expressions of their identity are acceptable
  • Ways educators can help boys embody their full authentic selves and be free from limiting social constructs around what men are (and aren’t) allowed to feel, think, be, and do

This is a controversial and delicate topic, so please listen when you are in the headspace to extend grace if some of my phrasing or examples aren’t ideal! I plan to address this topic again in at least one future episode with the support of a guest expert as well as the voices of male students themselves. Resource recommendations, interview suggestions, feedback, and additional perspectives are welcome at info@truthforteachers.com.

Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

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