The issue of equality in the classroom keeps me motivated because in my high school, teachers treated girls and boys very differently. Boys were more depended on because teachers thought they didn't get emotionally attached to things like girls did. Teachers thought boys made wiser decisions than girls, so no one asked what we thought. It was assumed that the boys were just smarter. This inequality made me feel disgusted. I was in the classroom, too -- I wanted to learn. They just shooed me away, all because I was a girl.
The school I attended had a lot more boy students than girls. I specifically studied computer science, and there were not many girls in this area. In my Java Script class, my teacher saw how I could multitask, helping others and doing my own work, and he noticed that the coding was too easy for me. Because of my success in this class, he put me in the AP Computer Science class, which he taught also.
In the AP class, there were five girls and 10 boys. In the beginning of the year, during the review of already known material, the teacher paid attention to the whole class. But, as we went along to new, harder stuff, he changed.
All of a sudden, the teacher excluded the girls and focused more on the boys. He changed the seating arrangement so all the boys were sitting in the front, and all the girls were sent to the back. The girls were left in the back to help one another, and the teacher would come by once in a while to see how we were doing, but the boys got constant help in the front. When it came time to take tests, the teacher would tell us not to worry -- he planned to pass us all no matter what. I thought, why am I even here then? Why did you even recommend me for this AP class? You don't even want me to try and pass the tests?
I was so mad about how the teacher disowned the girls. He just left us. He recommended me for this class and then just replaced the girls with the boys. I understand that boys are seen as the dominant gender for the subject, but I'm in the class too. I understand that science and math are some boys' best friends, but they can be girls' best friends, too.
I decided to take the books and study harder. Even though the teacher still wouldn't help me, I reached out to the boys in the class, and they were happy to help me. Because I took it into my own hands and asked for help elsewhere, I got through.
Because I had the confidence to ask for help in other places and help myself, I got through. If I didn't have that confidence, my self-esteem would have shot way down and I would have maybe stopped even going to the class. That shouldn't happen to anyone.
I stand up for equality in the classroom because there should be no separation. We have fought to be equal, to learn as one. Boys and girls should have the same opportunity to learn and get an education, so we can all have the opportunity for a bright future.
LitWorld's Stand Up for Girls campaign advocates for every girl's right to a quality education. By learning to read and write, all girls in the world can protect themselves against poverty, poor health outcomes and lifelong struggle. Literacy is a skill that once learned, is hers forever. Let us stand together to champion the right of all girls to be Fierce, Fearless and Free.
Stand with us on 10.11.12. Visit our website to learn more and join the movement.