11 October 2013

@ the Italian primary school :: 16 :: day of the girl

The UN General Assembly has designated October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.

Lest you think that this Italian primary school experiment experience is without challenges, let me share a little something my fourth grader recently told me:

"Mamma, boys are better in matematica. My teacher told me."

While I recognize that many little girls around the world face problems daily that are much more serious than the above statement about mathematics...I just...well...how could...really...COME ON!

I calmly replied that I've been teaching for many years and that I just don't agree with the teacher. Of course, La Maestra, like many elementary school teachers, has transcended to god-like status in the eyes of my daughter. Teacher knows best, always. Period.

Without hesitation I assured her that I believe that she is a great math student and then challenged her to strive to be the best math student in the class!  She agreed to do so, but not before assuring me that she is already one of the best in the class.

 Thatta GIRL.

I'm still taking deep breaths when I think about it. Yes. I know, I know...#FirstWorldProblems. I'm also thinking of just the right words for the upcoming parent-teacher conference; it's tricky for me.

I hope that you'll take a moment to think of the issues facing little girls across the world on this International Day of the Girl Child. #dayofthegirl

Disclaimer: I hate generalizations as much as you do, probably more. This is my limited experience at my fourth grader's tiny primary school lost in Northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!


  1. While I am sure her teacher is a great teacher, I wish they would not say stuff like this. They believe it! I did! I wish I hadn't! Girls just need to have great teachers teaching math!

    1. The irony is that her teacher is an EXCELLENT math teacher...math is her strong suit. Thankfully I saw a glimmer of hope in my daughter's eyes when she assured me that she is already great at math! I think the only reason she even mentioned it was bc she was trying to work out the conflict between what her teacher said and what she sees / knows to be true. OR at least that's what I'm telling myself.

  2. don't tell M that in my case, her maestra is totally right! :)

    1. Probably because your teachers created that reality! You had so much mathematical potential, Francesca.