Clare is super excited about the upcoming field trip to see Thumbelina and the Fairy Tale writing unit (and I'm sad to be missing it). I'm grateful as always for the ways you and the other first grade teachers inspire such genuine enthusiasm in my super-curious Clare!
I'm attaching a couple of pdf files, and want to give a brief explanation about what they are, where they're from, and why I'm bugging you with them. :)
For the last few years I've been a fan and loyal customer of Melissa Atkins Wardy, of Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies. She is a mom-preneur with a line of kid-affirming apparel and her mission is to "redefine girly" and "reclaim boyhood." The pdf files attached are letters drafted for use by the community that's formed around her activism, about the ways that gender stereotypes of both girls and boys are ubiquitous, insidious, and unfortunately, formative at earlier and earlier ages.
I have not had any concerns about Clare bringing home unfortunate girly stereotypes from school--I just want to be proactive as the class begins the Fairy Tale unit, because fairy tales (especially Disneyfied ones!) are often particularly dreadful about gender stereotypes and feminine passivity/masculine aggression.
You and XXX and XXX are wonderful role models for all the kids of strong, smart, in-charge women, and you all can make a huge difference in the way the parameters of fairy tales are presented--so I am just writing to say how important I feel it is for Clare and her classmates to have the freedom to create their own fairy tales free of the classic, medieval gender role limitations. And don't be surprised if Clare rescues her own princess self! :)
Thanks so much for listening and for EVERYTHING you do, day in and day out!