Home › Forum › In the classroom › helping young girls overcome issues w/ male teachers › Is it common for girls to be scared of male practitioners?
Is it common for girls to be scared of male practitioners? I ask because when I started placements in daycare nursery setting, as a student, 2 days per week, I created rapport with the children fast, except for 2 little girls aged about 2 and 2 and a half. I attended 2 days per week, yet after 5 weeks, these two girls still cry every time I attempted to enage them. Each time, they would immediately start crying for ‘daddy’. Incidentally, I purposely didn’t address them or make direct eye contact with them in 3rd and 4th weeks, so as to avoid setting them off and to show them that I was not a threat. Often I would address or engage adjacent children quite alright but the monet, I again attempted to engege those two girls, they would again just get anxious and cry.
I expressed my frustration & the circumstances to my colleagues, mentor and my tutors and peers. My colleagues simply said, ‘Oh, both those children are quite new still and their parents say the girls cry when any man except their dad is in the room or approaches them.’ This seems a bit odd but is this a common experience?
My placement was cancelled and my mentor used this problem as one of the reasons why she didn’t want me to continue my placement there because she said that it demonstrated that I ‘lack insight of childhood development and appropriate ways to engage children’. She also complained that because the children were scared of me, my colleagues had to sometimes remove the child into a different adjacent room of the younger or the older age groups, plus the child did not attend on 1 or more occassions- neither or which I was aware of.
I feel that the mentor is blaming me for the setting’s problem, when it’s not really my responsibility, but theirs to address how to handle the child’s fear of men, incl. myself; plus advise me how to interact ( I received no guidance or feedback that they were taking steps to remove the child, when I was present).
I feel like how they handled this issues is another form of hidden gender discrimination- what do you guys think though? In my placee, the colleagues’ place or the mentor’s place, what steps or advice would you have taken?
Any references to articles, books, research, please add a link here. Thanks.