Thank you to @kiran one of our #WomenEd WM Regional Leaders for organising today's #womened #digimeet
Girls are bossy. Boys are ...
Girls are bitches. Boys are ...
Girls are dramatic. Boys are ...
Girls are queen bees. Boys are...Girls are pretty. Boys are ...
Which adjective would you use to describe the same qualities in the boys as we would use for the girls?
As an English teacher I am interested in language choices and language effects.
As a Headteacher we are standardising the language and labels we use in our school, tweaking word choices to create more nuanced meaning e.g. we are not having tutors we are having coaches. Language matters as language lands - in our ears, in our hearts and in our minds. These words take root and and sow seeds that can grow and flourish into positive thoughts, emotions and behaviours, or they can thrive as weeds and strangle hold us.
|synonyms:||domineering, dominating, overbearing, imperious, masterful, autocratic, autarchic, officious, high-handed, high and mighty, authoritarian, dictatorial, strict, harsh, severe, iron-handed, controlling, despotic, tyrannical, draconian, oppressive, subjugating, undemocratic, anti-democratic; |
The language we use about girls in our classrooms and women in our schools is gender biased.
The labels we use in our society are gender biased.
The expectations we set in the world are unequal and are gender biased.
We need to be aware of the language we use.
We need to be conscious of how we describe ourselves, other women and girls.
As an Aries, I have had the bossy label instilled in me since a child. I was always the organiser, the natural team leader. I was headstrong, I was fearless.
When I was a child, everyone said I would be a great teacher. As I became a teen when I said I wanted to be a writer, people said I would be the editor. As a teacher peers said I would be a good headteacher. Others have always recognised that quality in me. I have never shied away from it. Even when it opens you up to criticism.
We need to collectively challenge how girls think and speak about themselves.
We need to encourage girls to lead.
We need girls to be 10%braver and 100% their authentic selves.
#WomenEd inspires/ empowers the adult females in our sector to push back.
With challenge and change as 2 of our core values, how can we pass the baton on to the next generation?
I watched my niece turn 7/8 and begin to lose her confidence. I had been doing some work with Dove on their self-esteem project and I shared the resources with my sister - she queried why programmes like that were prevalent in London but not in Devon.
The confidence gap kicks in and widens, at an earlier age than most people think.
We need to consider from day 1 the books that are read, the shows that are watched and the conversations that are had.
We need to consider not only the characters but also the status and the language of girls/ women in these texts. Each choice sends a subliminal message.
@awilliams has set up a brilliant girl leadership programme in her primary school - I was blown away by the confidence of her students who presented to our coaching circle and at out regional event.
We need to nurture our successors, tomorrow's leaders.
So next time you, a friend, a colleague, your daughter, your niece or a girl in your classroom is criticised for being bossy or shies away from being a leader her to practice the following mantras:
"I am not bossy, I just have better ideas"."I am not bossy, I am a leader".
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
What can you plan to do on that date to challenge the system?