julie teaches 6th grade language arts, but also teaches gender studies to her students! I was an avid gender studies buff in college and was blown away when i heard that she was discussing some complex and important gender topics with her 6th graders! can you imagine what an impact gender studies would have on our society-at-large if we included it in our education system as a requirement?
how does this relate to knitting? well let me tell you - earlier in the year Julie taught her students how to knit, and the response was overwhelming from both her male and female pupils (not surprisingly). At the present time, she has an afternoon knitting class for her students that has 32+ members. She has had to ask for additional teacher assistance to help her with the growing class size, and unfortunately had to bar other grades from joining (temporarily) because the group was getting too large (although, there are plans for a younger group to begin next year...). her students, like all knitters, seem ravenous to learn new techniques and take in all the addicting aspects of our art.
not surprisingly, some her male knitting students (some of whom seem very prolific already!) have run into opposition from friends and parents (specifiaclly fathers), who are uncomfortable with males taking such an avid interest in a traditionally 'female hobby.' Well, of course we had to do something about that........
Julie asked me if i would be available for an informal interview from some of her aspiring male students, and of course I jumped at the opportunity!
She has blogged their interview letter and attached my response over at fricknits - I think its really wonderful to see these young active minds latching onto, what i think (and i'm sure you agree) is an important and meaningful art form.
I encourage you to check out THE WHOLE EXCHANGE. Its sure to be a feel good moment for all knitters who are reading, and also, you'll get a little peak into my own knitting history. Just a little... heh.
and because this made my day - here is a picture of her students showing their love for the fiber:
this is a big THANK YOU to Julie for pushing the envelope in her teaching and giving her students a terribly valuable and empowering life lesson. I wish she had been my teacher!