This is a list of simple activities which can help you assess some aspects of gender equity in your classroom. Consider trying some of them. You may be surprised at what you find!
1. Do you call on boys more often than girls? Keep a check-list for several days.
2. Are most of the books in your room written by men? Take inventory. (Students can help with this.)
3. Do you give different kinds of feedback to girls than to boys? After correcting some assignments, separate the boys' papers from the girls' papers. Read your comments and note any differences.
4. In the stories read in your classroom, are most of the protagonists men? Take inventory. (Students can help here, too.)
5. Do your students notice differences in the ways boys and girls are treated? Ask them! This could generate some enlightening discussion.
6. Do you treat boys and girls differently in subtle (or not-so-subtle) ways? Video tape your classroom or ask a trusted peer to observe you. This takes some courage!
Everybody discriminates on the basis of gender. It's part of our culture. Each of us can change after we are aware of our discriminatory behaviors. Best wishes in your efforts to make your classroom more gender-fair!